Appeal court increases kidnap sentence
15 July 2004, AMSTERDAM — The appeals court in Leeuwarden has increased the sentence imposed earlier this year on the man who kidnapped 11-year-old Lusanne van der Gun from five to seven years.
15 July 2004
AMSTERDAM — The appeals court in Leeuwarden has increased the sentence imposed earlier this year on the man who kidnapped 11-year-old Lusanne van der Gun from five to seven years.
The court also ruled that the 64-year-old defendant, Simon S., should pay EUR 5,000 compensation to both Lusanne and her parents.
A lower court in Leeuwarden imposed a five-year sentence on the man in March this year when he admitted snatching the girl. He was also ordered to pay his victim EUR 5,000 and EUR 1,000 to her parents.
S. had told police he could not really explain why he had taken her, but at the time he demanded a EUR 200,000 ransom. He had no previous convictions.
Lusanne was abducted on 25 August last year as she rode to school with a girlfriend in the Friesian village of Oldeberkoop. S. pretended to be a traffic crossing guard and bundled Lusanne into his car as her friend continued onto school and raised the alarm.
After crisscrossing the country — most of the time blindfolded and confined to the trunk of a car — Lusanne was released two days later in the eastern Dutch city Venlo. The case attracted intense media publicity.
The accused had tried in vain to obtain EUR 200,000 in ransom from Lusanne's family, mistakenly thinking they were wealthy. The Van der Gun family owns a cheese farm in Oldeberkoop.
The schoolgirl was unhurt during her ordeal and S. was arrested in his hometown Rypsterk on 5 September 2003 after a witness saw the girl in his car and wrote down the number plate. S. immediately confessed the crime.
The public prosecutor (OM) appealed the earlier sentence, saying it was too lenient given the fact that Lusanne was tied up in the boot of a car for long periods.
Imposing the higher term, the appeals court said the sentence should act as a deterrent to others.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news