A Flemish couple found guilty of murdering an 89-year-old man by poisoning his pudding with ecstasy have had their sentences increased from 7 and 10 years imprisonment to 18 years each.
Christa D.V, 43, and her 47-year-old husband, Johnny N., were originally handed 7 and 10-year prison sentences, respectively, after they were found guilty of killing 89-year-old Robert Paridaens, who was Christa’s grandfather, in 2013.
The new sentence comes after a public prosecutor appealed the couple's original sentences which he deemed "too mild," for their crime, according to Belgian media.
Christa and Johnny underwent another hearing in the appeals court this week, and it was here that their sentences were increased.
The couple had previously argued that Paridaens was a “tyrant”, and his cruel behaviour led them to carry out their murder. However, in the Appeals Court, the chairman dismissed their defence.
“Even if he had a tyrannical and insufferable character, he still should not have been murdered in such a cowardly way. The victim’s murder is completely socially unacceptable”, said the chairman of the Appeals Court.
Initially, Paridaens was believed to have died of natural causes, but following a toxicological study, it was revealed that he had died from a lethal dose of ecstasy.
Johnny admitted to creating the plan to poison Paridaens, with Christa also admitting her involvement in executing the scheme, as she slipped the ecstasy into Paridaen’s pudding.
The couple were allowed to leave the courthouse and will be called up to begin their prison sentences sometimes in the near future.
The Brussels Times