Expatica news

Former pupil sentenced for attack on teacher

8 April 2005

BRUSSELS – A student who attacked a teacher in Brussels has been given a six-month suspended prison sentence.

On Thursday, a tribunal in Brussels found the ex-Madeleine Jacquemotte pupil guilty of grabbing his economics teacher round the neck.

The 20-year-old, named at the tribunal only as Sebastien for legal reasons, was also fined EUR 550.

The tribunal heard that the attack took place on 30 September.

Sebastien had failed an economics exam on 1 September, but was still allowed to go into his fifth year at the Ixelles school after saying he would work harder.

According to Sebastien, after passing his first oral exam he went to find his teacher from the previous year to show her the results.

He claims he linked his hand round the shoulder of the teacher to hold her while showing her the paper in his other hand.

However, the tribunal concluded he had attacked the teacher after hearing from a teacher of religion, who witnessed the incident, and after reading a medical report detailing the teacher’s injuries.

Judge Martine Devos, the tribunal’s president, said she had to give Sebastien a serious sentence because of the traumatic nature of the attack.

It was important, she argued, to protect teachers in society in a context of increasing violence in schools.

She said she had given Sebastien a suspended prison sentence because he had no previous criminal convictions.

Pierre Chome, the defence lawyer for Sebastien, said his client would appeal against the verdict.

He said the sentence was “a form of publicity which is disproportionate to the case, minor in comparison with cases of violence that are penalised differently”.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news