Lusanne’s kidnapper faces 8 years in jail
26 February 2004
AMSTERDAM — The prosecution demanded in Leeuwarden Court on Thursday eight years jail for the kidnapper of schoolgirl Lusanne van der Gunn, whose parents are also calling for EUR 5,000 in damages.
Lusanne is being treated by a child psychologist and is involved in creative therapy. Her parents fear unpredictable traumatic consequences as a result of her abduction last year. Her kidnapper has accepted those fears and the compensation demand.
The girl’s parents believe that Lusanne is still withholding parts of her ordeal and said that she no longer dares to go to bed alone at night. She suffers from nightmares, and her parents are concerned that she is known as “the kidnapped girl”, a nu.nl news report said.
The 64-year-old kidnapper, identified as Simon S., admitted in court on Thursday that he did not exactly know why he chose to abduct the 11-year-old last August.
The man also said his financial problems were not pressing, despite the fact he had demanded a ransom. He is also a father of a daughter and understood that the abduction of a child is one of the worst things someone can do to a parent.
Psychiatric experts at the Pieter Baan Centrum (PBC) examined S. for weeks on end and concluded that the suspect, who has already confessed, should not be sentenced to TBS psychiatric treatment, news agency ANP reported.
Lusanne was kidnapped on 25 August last year as she rode to school with a girlfriend in the Friesian village of Oldeberkoop. After crisscrossing the country — most of the time confined to the trunk of a car — she was released two days later in the eastern Dutch city of Venlo.
The accused had tried in vain to obtain EUR 200,000 in ransom from Lusanne’s family, mistakenly thinking they were wealthy. The schoolgirl was unhurt during her ordeal and S. was arrested on 5 September after a witness saw the girl in his car and wrote down the number plate.
The PBC experts said S. had diminished accountability at the time of kidnapping. He did not have a criminal record before his abduction of Lusanne and the behaviour experts said the danger that he might commit a repeat offence is small.
Despite this, they diagnosed him with a narcissistic personality disorder, indicating that he had a heightened trait to become offended and an inflated sense of self-worth.
But the public prosecutor said it was notable that S. claims he does not understand why he carried out the kidnapping, saying it was an easy way to get away with it. The prosecution demanded an eight-year jail sentence.
The trial is continuing.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news