Two homeless men received lengthy prison sentences for manslaughter from the Brussels Court of Assizes on Tuesday night.
Dimitri Hamard (38) was sentenced to 19 years in jail while Jacques Galand (39) was given a 16-year prison sentence for the killing of Jérémy Simon, on 13 May 2020 in Auderghem.
A third accused, Claire Slowinsky (27), was acquitted of manslaughter but was sentenced to two years in prison with reprieve for stealing from the dead man.
The victim, Jérémy Simon, was a homeless person around 30 years old. He was often to be found on a bench in Boulevard du Souverain, along with other homeless people including the three accused.
The autopsy revealed that Simon had been struck more than 20 times with a sharp object, and there were signs of strangulation.
According to the investigation, Hamard and Galand killed the victim by striking him with an axe behind the bench. Other homeless people who were in the vicinity testified that Hamard's girlfriend, Claire Slowinsky, was also present.
The witnesses said the accused had been discussing for some time how to exclude Simon from their group.
Hamard and Galand confessed to inflicting the fatal blows and were found guilty of manslaughter.
Slowinsky was acquitted of manslaughter since, although she was nearby, she had nothing to do with the killing. However, she admitted returning the next day to take the victim's bank card and a €50 bill, which she had intended to use to flee with her partner.