Appeal court upholds tough sentences for linesman death

The appeal court in Leeuwarden on Thursday upheld jail and youth detention terms for six teenagers and a 51-year-old man for their role in the death of a football linesman who was kicked by a mob after a youth game in Almere last December.

The appeal court said there had been an ‘explosion of violence’ against Richard Nieuwenhuizen. He died in hospital the day after being attacked by a group of youths after a B youth match between Almere club Buitenboys and Amsterdam side Nieuwe Sloten.

The sentences are largely in line with those handed down at the earlier trial.


El-Hasan D, 51, was jailed for six years while his son Yassine, 16, was given 12 months in juvenile detention, two suspended.

The other suspects, aged 16, 17 and 18, were given 24-month sentences, six suspended, for their parts in the attack. One youth, Mohamed K, had his sentence cut from 24 to 12 months after he was found guilty of public violence rather than manslaughter.

A number of defence lawyers said immediately after the trial they will make a second appeal against the sentences. ‘The court bases its verdict on eye witnesses while there are other eye witnesses who clear him,’ Sydney Smeets, who represents El-Hasan D, is quoted as saying by news agency ANP.

The attack on Nieuwenhuizen forced the Dutch football association KNVB to implement new measures, including a hotline, to try to stop off-the-pitch violence.

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