Young boy who stabbed police officer charged with attempted homicide

Young boy who stabbed police officer charged with attempted homicide
Credit: Belga

The young boy who stabbed a police officer twice in the back with a knife on Thursday will be brought before the juvenile court in Hasselt on Friday afternoon on charges of attempted manslaughter.

The 12-year-old boy stabbed a district police officer who was directing traffic near the Agnetencollege school on Thursday afternoon in the municipality of Peer, in the Limburg province, where he was a student.

“The juvenile court will decide on the appropriate measures, taking into account the seriousness of the facts, the personality of the minors and their living conditions,” press officer Bruno Coppin of the Limburg public prosecutor’s office told Belga News Agency.

The boy’s 17-year old brother will also be brought before the court under the provisional legal qualification of rebellion in a gang.

The boy and his brother got into an argument with the 41-year old district police officer, who was seriously injured but is not in a life-threatening condition. The twelve-year-old, his brother and their mother were arrested after the events.

Educational and restorative approach

“This is an exceptional act to be committed in Peer, let alone by a boy of 12. I have never known anything like it, someone of that age doing something like that,” Antwerp juvenile court judge Christian Denoyelle told Radio 1 on Friday morning.

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“The juvenile judge is certainly going to ask what this boy was doing with a knife in his pocket. Did he experience something himself, does he have a fascination for knives?”

He explained that the youth court judge will take an educational approach to prevent a young person from committing such an act again. He added that stricter sentencing is not always best for young people.

“The juvenile court should look at restorative justice: how can things be restored between the victim and the offender? And then there is a whole range of alternative measures, like looking at why the offender did this and how it could have been prevented.”

He stressed that imprisonment should only be an option as a last resort. “Placing children of 12 in a closed institution is exceptional. “

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