Teen not guilty of death threat

19th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

19 February 2007, AMSTERDAM — “I’m going to knock your teeth out. You’re dead!” is not necessarily a death threat. The Amsterdam appeal court has declared the 15-year-old speaker of the above words not guilty, De Volkskrant reports. The words were addressed to the boy’s teacher.

19 February 2007

AMSTERDAM — “I’m going to knock your teeth out. You’re dead!” is not necessarily a death threat. The Amsterdam appeal court has declared the 15-year-old speaker of the above words not guilty, De Volkskrant reports. The words were addressed to the boy’s teacher.

According to the court, it is not that a phrase must sound like a threat, but that its addressee must feel threatened. Only then can someone be convicted.

In the case in question, the teacher had filed against the student because she “did not have a good feeling about it”, and because she believed the boy’s behaviour had been “unacceptable”. However, the court said, the teacher did not feel seriously under threat.

A lower court had sentenced the teenager to a term in prison equal to the period of his pre-trial detention.

According to the student’s lawyer Richard Korver, the teacher had decided to press charges out of principle and not because she feared for her safety. Schools file threat complaints too easily nowadays, often simply to get rid of the student, Korver said. 

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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