The Prosecutor’s Office and the claimants’ barrister requested yesterday (Monday) that the sentence of Jelle Frenken, passed by the Brussels Criminal Court at first instance, be upheld. Mr Frenken was prosecuted for having thrown acid on Marina Tijssen on February 20th, 2015, on one of the premises of the supermarket chain Delhaize.
She was and remains a housewife working for Delhaize. The incident occurred after the accused had blackmailed his victim’s employer for several months. The Defence barrister asserted that there was “at least” doubt as to his client’s intention to kill the victim.
Mr Frenken had been sentenced last October, by the Brussels Criminal Court at first instance, to 18 years imprisonment. The court had the freedom to pass concurrent sentences of 10 years, for extortion, attempted extortion and attempted murder.
Before the 13th court of the Brussels Court of Appeal, the barrister for the victim and her family, Me Kris Luyckx, asserted that his client had already undergone between 40 and 50 operations since the incident.
The consequences of the attack are still obvious on Ms Tijssen’s chest, arm and face. Each month, she has to visit the hospital to undergo treatment to alleviate the pain.
Her left eye appears to have been damaged to such an extent that it is necessary for her to wear a prosthetic replacement.
Me Luyckx said, “Did [the accused] have the requisite level of intent to kill? Any ordinary citizen with a normal level of intelligence knows to be careful with products such as caustic cleaning agents. This is, therefore, also the case with sulphuric acid.”
The barrister also argued that Mr Frenken had “not used a perfume bottle, but an entire tumbler of sulphuric acid.” He said that this left little doubt as to Frenken’s intentions, with the argument, moreover, gaining strength by his aiming for body parts as vital as Ms Tijssen’s face.
Owing to the increased costs of medical care since the first instance conviction, the barrister made an increased estimate of interim compensation for the victim and her family.
The Prosecutor’s Office also requested that the accused’s conviction for attempted murder be upheld. In the alternative, it argued for the court’s application of the ten-year prison sentences available in this case.