Appeal court upholds Eindhoven attack sentences, criticises prosecutor

The appeal court has upheld sentences against two youths accused of an unprovoked attack on a man in Eindhoven which was caught on security camera.

The appeal court also criticised the public prosecution department for being careless in the way it dealt with the footage, which was broadcast on local television, enabling the youths to be identified.

The main suspect, 17-year-old Brent L, was given 10 months in juvenile detention, four suspended. The prosecution department had called for two years.

Defendant Tom K was given eight months in jail, four suspended, which is a slight increase on the lower court sentence. He must now return to juvenile detention.

Witch hunt

The prosecution department had appealed against the lower court sentences which were cut because of the impact of the broadcasts.

However, the appeal court upheld the lower court’s position, saying the privacy of the suspects had been seriously infringed and the broadcast had led to an internet witch-hunt.

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.

Naming and shaming

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. One was acquitted and one was given two months in jail.

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