Psychotic refugee sentenced to psychiatric prison for murdering teenager

A Dutch courtroom. Photo: Odi Busman
A Dutch courtroom. Photo: Odi Busman

The 25-year-old Sudanese refugee arrested for stabbing an 18-year-old youth to death in the Brabant town of Oss last year has been sentenced to an unlimited term in a psychiatric prison.

Rik van de Rakt was found dead next to his bike in April last year in what police said appeared to be a random attack. Ayoub Y was arrested a short time later.

Judges said Y, who was known to police as a troublemaker, was in the middle of a psychotic attack when he stabbed Rik van de Rakt. Given the likelihood of him reoffending, the court said long-term and intensive treatment was essential.

The sentence is in line with the public prosecution department’s demands.

According to Y’s lawyer, he is suffering from post traumatic stress and schizophrenia following his time as a child soldier in Sudan. Throughout the trail, Y has maintained he has no idea what happened and has denied killing anyone.

The court said that there is sufficient evidence to prove Y stabbed the teenager, who was on his way by bike to work at a nearby care home.

Bernheze local council, where Y lived, has admitted that it failed to properly supervise Y, but blamed privacy rules of the lack of information. The victim’s family have also said privacy legislation is to blame.

The Oss attack is not the first to involve refugees who may have mental health problems. In May 2018, a Syrian man stabbed three people in the street in The Hague in an apparently random attack. In 2019,  he was sentenced to an indefinite term in a secure psychiatric unit.

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