Jail sentence for man who shot and paralysed random passerby

A gavel in a courtroom.

A 21-year-old man from Groningen has been sentenced to 10 years of jail and long-term psychiatric treatment (tbs) after shooting at and crippling a random passerby. The NOS broadcaster reports on Friday that the man named as Azim A. was sentenced for trying to kill the 21-year-old Sydney Ruiter last October. He and two friends had stopped the student on the street on October 15th 2017, and then A. had shot at him four times as he cycled away. Ruiter was permanently paralysed in his lower body and now uses a wheelchair. A. must also pay his victim almost €370,000 in compensation for the apparently motiveless attack. A. had reportedly told somebody later that the shooting ‘felt good, like shooting a bird out of the air’ and threatened to kill his victim in hospital to prevent him from testifying. He had cleaned the gun in his newborn baby’s bath. A. was given two years' less punishment and a slightly weaker charge than the prosecution had demanded, and made no defence in court. The verdict was also partially based on other criminal acts, including a ram-raid in Zuidlaren and abuse and death threats against a former girlfriend.  More >

'Paedo hunter' father jailed for 4.5 years

Statue of justice. A father who tracked down a man who was trying to date his 14-year-old daughter and beat him with a snow shovel has had his jail sentence increased on appeal. Judges ruled that the attack by Mario Haazen was serious enough to be classed as attempted murder and sentenced him to four and a half years in prison. He had originally been sentenced to 10 months for serious assault. The appeal court said that Haazen, from Helmond, had struck his victim, Jack S., so hard with the shovel that 'he 'deliberately and knowingly accepted there was a chance that he might die', according to Omroep Brabant. The 47-year-old S. had made contact with Haazen's daughter online by posing as a 17-year-old boy and leaving chocolates and flowers in her garden. After discovering the man's identity, M. staked out his house, followed him to a public place in Eindhoven and attacked him with the shovel. Haazen believed that S., who had been given a tbs psychiatric treatment order in the past, had previous convictions for sexual offences, but this was not the case, the court heard. The original sentence also included a compensation order for €1,925, which was paid for by a crowdfunding campaign. Haazen shouted out in court that he would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, Omroep Brabant reported.    More >

Jail for helicopter prison break plotters

Four men have been jailed for their part in a failed plot to break a contract killer out of prison by hiring a helicopter. The plan to spring Benaouf A. from jail in Roermond last October foundered when the helicopter rental firm became suspicious of the men's intentions and contacted police, NRC reported. The sentences handed down by the district court in Amsterdam of between two years and 30 months were lower than the three to nine years demanded by the prosecution, mainly because the plot had been thwarted at an early stage. Five other defendants were acquitted. Police who raided the men's homes found a handgun, automatic weapons and ammunition, along with rockets, jerrycans and home-made caltrops, spiked weapons shaped like crows' feet that are used to puncture vehicle tyres. Despite the relatively light sentences, the court said a 'very serious and dangerous situation' had been prevented, adding that the gang showed a 'total lack of respect for the justice system.' A. was serving a 12-year sentence for a murder committed in Antwerp in 2012 during the so-called 'Mocro Wars' between rival drugs gangs.  More >

Police seize cars and cash in Rotterdam

Rotterdam police arrested six people, confiscated 25 cars and handed out fines totalling €104,000 on Friday, in a day of action against organised crime which took place in three locations in Rotterdam Zuid. The campaign involved stopping mainly large, expensive cars and checking their contents as well as their driver's paper, broadcaster RTV Rijnmond reported. Tax officials and finance ministry investigators were also involved. Some €63,000 in cash was also confiscated, as were large quantities of drugs. Duizenden euro's afgepakt! #actie #ondermijning #RotterdamZuid #foutgeld #afpakken #misdaadloontniet pic.twitter.com/WOm3D7ZFQA — Politie Rotterdam eo (@Politie_Rdam) November 9, 2018 In total, around 100 officials were involved in the campaign, in which cars were targeted using police intelligence and number recognition systems, police said. Rotterdam is grappling with a crime wave in which the criminal circuit is becoming more embedded with normal society - such as money laundering, police said in a statement. 'This campaign is aimed at showing residents that the government is getting tough on the way society is being undermined, and that crime does not pay,' according to a police statement on Twitter. Locals were informed about the police campaign via leaflets.  More >

Nicky Verstappen faces manslaughter

Jos Brech, the survivalist suspected of killing 11-year-old Nicky Verstappen 20 years ago, is facing charges of manslaughter rather than murder, local paper De Limburger said on Friday. The paper says court officials feel there is not enough evidence to convict Brech of deliberately setting out to kill Nicky and have called on the public prosecution department to soften the charge. Manslaughter carries a maximum of 15 years in jail while people found guilty of murder can be sentenced to life imprisonment. Journalist Peter R de Vries, who has supported the family in their efforts to find out what happened to their son, told the Telegraaf they were expecting this. 'It was pretty obvious from the start that murder could not be proved,' he said. 'It is the same with all cold cases. Manslaughter is the highest charge that can be brought unless, of course, the suspect confesses.' DNA Brech was arrested in Spain on August 26, just a few days after police announced that his DNA had been found on the boy’s body. Nicky Verstappen was taken from his tent while at summer camp in August 1998. His body was found the next day but his killer has never been identified. A cold case team started re-investigating the murder five years ago and now new techniques allowed scientists to identify dna found on Nicky’s body and clothes. Update: Brech's laywer Gerald Roethof said on Friday evening that his client had not carried out the crime. He did not abuse the boy, kidnap him or kill him, Roethof said, but declined to give further details 'until the time is right'.  More >

Childcare worker faces child porn charges

A 50-year-old man who worked at a daycare centre should be jailed for four years for sexually abusing a child and for the possession of child pornography, the public prosecution department said on Friday. The man, who worked for a childcare group in Bussum for 15 years, was arrested in February 2017, after police were alerted by US investigators. They were tracing the origins of child pornography found in the Dropbox online storage system. After his arrest was made public, a woman came forward to claim that the man had abused her in the 1990s when she was a child. The suspect was a friend of her parents and used to babysit for her, broadcaster NOS said. Police consider her evidence sufficient to press child abuse charges, NOS said. The man was found to have some 1,700 images and films of child pornography in his possession, but there is no evidence he made any himself, the public prosecutor said. 'Nevertheless, children were seriously abused in the images which the suspect had circulated,' the department said. 'The demand for such material ensures production continues.' The public prosecution department says there is no evidence that the man had committed offences against the children in his care. He worked at both a daycare centre and an after-school club.  More >