Judge criticises broadcast of Eindhoven attack video, cuts sentences

The judge overseeing the trial of four teenagers for an unprovoked attack on a man in Eindhoven in January has criticised the public prosecution department for allowing film of the attack to be broadcast on television.

Three of the teenagers who were found guilty of the attempted manslaughter were given lower sentences than demanded by the public prosecutor because of the television broadcasts.

Releasing the footage to the media had a serious impact on the defendents and the prosecutor should have realised the film would be endlessly circulated on the the internet, the court said in its ruling.

In addition, the decision to release the video was taken without proper consultation and no effort had been made to trace the attackers using less far-reaching means, the judge said.


The main suspect, 17-year-old Brent L, was given 10 months in juvenile detention, four suspended, for his role in that the court said was ‘an explosion of violence’. The prosecution department had called for two years.

Defendent Tom K was given six months in jail, three suspended. This is half the term demanded by the prosector.

Brett S, was given a two-month term, which he had already served in detention while awaiting trial. The prosecutor had called for eight months, four suspended.

The fourth suspect, Stefano B, was found not guilty.

The public prosecution department immediately announced its intention to appeal against the lower sentences.

War footing

Eight youths were originally arrested in the wake of the attack, which was caught on security camera.

The 22-year-old victim was hit and kicked by several of the eight-strong group after they marched down the street on ‘a war footing’. He suffered severe concussion and injuries to his mouth and jaw.

The video was broadcast on a television crime show and the youths later identified by shockblog GeenStijl, leading to a major debate in the Dutch media about naming and shaming crime suspects.

The case against four of the youths was later dropped.

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