The young woman who was stabbed by her ex-boyfriend on board a train yesterday had reported her fears to police prior to the incident, but nothing was done.
The victim, Fanny Appes, has been able to leave hospital, according to her family. The 41-year-old man responsible for the attack is still at large, the prosecutor for Halle-Vilvoorde said.
Appes, aged 30, came to Belgium from Cameroon ten years ago, and has made a name as a track athlete, in particular in the 100m. She was part of the relay team that won gold at the Belgian championships.
Matters came to a head last summer, as she prepared to take part in the African championships, the man ripped up her passport to stop her going. She left him, but later suffered threats and harassment.
The director of her athletics club explained her experiences with the suspect to Le Soir.
“She changed her phone number regularly, she moved house and changed her job to try to escape from him,” said Noël Levêque.
“I know she had filed several complaints with the police at Braine-l’Alleud. I myself contacted the police at Nivelles to report what had happened. The officer I spoke to listened carefully but of course I have no idea if there was an investigation into his harassment and physical threats.”
Appes herself spoke to the RTBF.
“I made a complaint to the police six months ago at Braine-l’Alleud and Nivelles and provided proof, but nothing was done. I was afraid something would happen to me but I did everything I could to protect myself. The police didn’t help me. Nothing was done. A week ago he hit me with his car. I made a video that I posted on Facebook. I escaped today but he could have killed me.”
The attack took place on a local train from Sint-Genesius-Rode and Holleken just south of Uccle. The train was stopped at that moment in Linkebeek, allowing the attacker to flee while another passenger took care of his victim. He remains at large.