Nation's oldest thief remanded in custody

1st March 2006, Comments 0 comments

1 March 2006, BRUSSELS — For the second time in three weeks, 'Belgium's oldest thief' was the subject of a Leuven Court hearing on Tuesday, but this time he was remanded in custody.

1 March 2006

BRUSSELS — For the second time in three weeks, 'Belgium's oldest thief' was the subject of a Leuven Court hearing on Tuesday, but this time he was remanded in custody.

The court remanded the 79-year-old Georges P. in custody for a month and ordered that he undergo a psychiatric examination.

The ruling signals the temporary end to questions of what must be done with P., who is an habitual thief with more than 40 convictions against his name.

P. has kept judicial authorities busy in recent weeks.

On 24 January, he was sentenced by Hasselt Court to a six-month jail term and a EUR 143 fine for stealing money from a church donation box. 

However, P. was not required to serve his sentence. Due to prison capacity problems, only criminals sentenced to more than 12 months jail actually have to serve out their term.

But just 10 days later, P. was caught trying to steal from a church donation box again, this time from a church in the Flemish Brabant town of Tremelo.

Leuven Court then released P. — who wants to be admitted to a nursing home — from jail on 7 February under strict conditions.

Defence lawyer Geert Jaspaert had admitted P. is an incorrigible thief, but advised against jailing him. "He needs help and guidance," he said.

But police arrested P. again on 22 February for allegedly trying to steal money from a church donation box in the East Flemish town of Zomergem.

During police questioning, P. confessed to two other thefts from another church.

Leuven Court was then required to hand down a ruling over P.'s immediate fate on Tuesday.

And this time, the court ordered P. to be remanded in custody for a month and undergo a psychiatric examination.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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