Verdict in Melanie Slijbers case
29 March 2007, AMSTERDAM – The court in Den Bosch reached a verdict in the Melanie Slijbers case today. 41-year-old Peter H. was sentenced to 15 years in prison and mandatory psychiatric treatment for the abduction, rape and killing of 15-year-old Melanie Sijbers from Geldrop.
29 March 2007
AMSTERDAM – The court in Den Bosch reached a verdict in the Melanie Slijbers case today. 41-year-old Peter H. was sentenced to 15 years in prison and mandatory psychiatric treatment for the abduction, rape and killing of 15-year-old Melanie Sijbers from Geldrop.
The public prosecutor had asked for 18 years in prison and mandatory psychiatric treatment. The court imposed a sentence of three years shorter than requested because it found H. in a diminished state of responsibility.
The court found H. guilty of luring the schoolgirl to a shed on 7 September 2006 and forcing her to commit sexual acts. He killed the girl in a forest near Someren and then hid her body.
The victim was found two weeks later. Neither the prosecutor nor court saw any evidence that he had planned to kill the girl, so H. could not be convicted of murder.
The suspect has admitted to killing Melanie Sijbers, a friend of his stepdaughter. H. denies however that he sexually abused her and claims they had a consensual relationship. The court did not believe this. The court based its ruling on the full confession submitted shortly after his arrest, which was supported by sperm traces found later.
The court agreed with experts that there is a great chance that the man will offend again. The man has been convicted of rape before and was sentenced to mandatory psychiatric treatment. Against the advice of the clinic where he was receiving treatment, the Pieter Baan Centrum (PBC) gave the green light for his treatment to end in 2003. The PBC now says that there is little chance of successful treatment.
The suspect's lawyer, Henk van Dijk, added therefore on Thursday that the penalty imposed is in effect a life sentence. He is considering appealing the verdict because he says there is no evidence of rape. He wants to ask for a shorter prison sentence so that the psychiatric treatment can start sooner.
The public prosecution department was satisfied with the verdict.
The victim's family is relieved that the court did not believe Peter H.'s story of having had a longer relationship with Melanie, which he first claimed at the sitting two weeks ago. The family does not think the prison sentence is long enough, said a spokesperson.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news