Loosdrecht road racer jailed for four years for role in fatal crash

Loosdrecht road racer jailed for four years for role in fatal crash

A father and son who took part in an impromptu road race through a Dutch village which left a 19-year-old woman dead have been found guilty of causing her death by reckless driving by judges in Utrecht. 54-year-old Walter van W, who drove his Porsche into the car driven by Fleur Balkestein, was jailed for four years to be followed by a five year driving ban. His son Casper, 33, was banned from driving for one year and given 100 hours of community service. The court was told that the father and son had driven at speeds of up to 160 kph along a narrow dyke road in what appeared to be a race. An investigation by the Netherlands Forensic Institute showed the two had driven of speeds of at least 167 kph in area where 50 kph is the maximum. ‘They drove absurdly fast,’ the public prosecution told the court during the trial. Van W’s car smashed into the car driven by the young woman as she turned out of a driveway onto the road in Loosdrecht. She died of her injuries in hospital two weeks after the crash took place. Walter van W was also found to have twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood. The two had been out to dinner together earlier in the evening. 'Father and son took a risk and as a result, Fleur is dead,' the court said in its verdict.   More >

13 arrested in Dutch Irish drugs raids

Eight arrested in Amsterdam in joint Dutch Irish drugs crackdown A joint campaign between Dutch and Irish police has resulted in the arrest of 13 people suspected of being part of a drugs gang which may have links to Ireland’s notorious Kinahan clan. In total, eight people were arrested in the Netherlands – three with Dutch nationality, three Irish men and one Belgian, according to Irish media reports. They are suspected of trafficking drugs and money laundering. Police in Amsterdam also seized 175kg of cocaine, cannabis, vacuum-packed cash, computers, encrypted phones and bitcoin in the raids in the Netherlands, Irish media said. Dutch police have refused to comment on the arrests because the suspects are being held in solitary confinement and only allowed contact with their lawyers. In Ireland, where five arrests were made, police found drugs, worth an estimated €7 million at two industrial units in Ashbourne, Co Meath. Senior Irish police officer assistant commissioner John O’Driscoll  was in the Netherlands on Thursday where he met Dutch law enforcement personnel and law enforcement personnel from other jurisdictions, according to the force's Facebook page.  More >

Mosque fire bomber to be moved to new jail

Loosdrecht road racer jailed for four years for role in fatal crash A man servicing four years in jail for fire bombing a mosque in Enschede is to be moved from the high security prison in Vught because he is being targeted by jihadis who are also being held there, broadcaster RTL said on Thursday. At his trial last year, the man, plus four others, was found guilty of committing a terrorist offence, hence the automatic placement at the Vught terrorism unit. The man has been kept in solitary confinement for seven months after complaining of feeling unsafe and being threatened by radicalised Muslim inmates. He had lost two earlier attempts to be moved to a new jail. The criminal sentencing appeals committee has now ruled he should be moved to a new prison. It ruled that the outdoor area allocated to the man is not properly separated from the main exercise yard and that he could still be in danger. Last month, Amnesty International slammed conditions at the Dutch terrorist units, saying they are inhuman and violate human rights.  More >

Tilburg police to look into school arrests

Loosdrecht road racer jailed for four years for role in fatal crash Police in Tilburg are to investigate the arrest of three teenagers at a school in the city where they had been called to break up a crowd of youngsters who had apparently gathered to fight. Films taken by fellow pupils show one boy being tripped and thrown to the ground by a police officer. In total, three boys, aged 14,15 and 16 were arrested. Police said at the time they had ignored an order to leave the area. A group of some 100 youngsters had gathered at the trade school after messages were placed on social media calling on them to come for a mass fight. Several schools are located on the city's Stappegoorweg. Police had been called to the school at around 1pm. Police spokeswoman Pierre-Ine Mattheussens told local broadcaster Omroep Brabant: 'I can imagine it looks a little heavy handed but I understand from colleagues that the atmosphere was very tense and feelings were running high,' she said. 'We were there to restore order.' The school has not yet reacted but broadcaster NOS said people living nearby have complained repeatedly about pupils at the school causing a nuisance.   More >

More damages claims for police detention

Loosdrecht road racer jailed for four years for role in fatal crash Nearly 5,000 people were given financial compensation last year after spending time in a police cell without being charged, the AD said on Tuesday. In total, 4,819 people who spent up to three days in a police cell, claimed €105 for every day they were held, the paper said. In 2005, just 780 people claimed for wrongful detention. However, just 35% of people who are entitled to compensation actually went on to claim the cash, the paper said, quoting audit office figures. Last year, one in four suspects was held for a time in a police cell, compared with one in six four years previously, the AD said. The justice ministry told the paper the rise is due to changes in the legal system. For example, suspects are now entitled to have a lawyer present before being questioned, which can take longer to organise. In addition, more cases are also being dealt with by simple fines rather than a full court case. This means suspects can be kept in a police cell until the public prosecution department has assessed their case.  More >