Football: up to six years sought for Dutch linesman killing

31st May 2013, Comments 0 comments

The Dutch public prosecutor on Friday sought six years in jail for a father and up to two years' youth detention for six teenagers who allegedly kicked an amateur football linesman to death last year.

"The prosecution maintains that all the suspects who hit Richard Nieuwenhuizen in the head or body are responsible for his death," a statement said after the court heard from dozens of witnesses and studied photographs of the brutal attack.

The prosecution in the case at Lelystad, east of Amsterdam, wants two years in youth detention units, six months suspended, for five boys aged 16 and 17 at the time, and one year with two months suspended for a 15-year-old.

The 51-year-old father of one of the teen suspects should be jailed for six years, the prosecution said.

An eighth suspect, aged 15, should serve 30 days in a youth detention unit, 13 days suspended, because he only hit an opposing player, not the linesman, the prosecution said.

"The suspects were notably identified by the numbers on their shirts, the colour of their football socks, their shoes and other recognisable features," it said.

The death of Nieuwenhuizen, 41, allegedly because of a beating at the hands of youth players shortly after the final whistle at an amateur game last December, sent shockwaves through the football-mad Netherlands.

The accused are all connected to, or are members of, the Nieuw Sloten football club, which played against Nieuwenhuizen's Buitenboys Club in Almere, just east of Amsterdam, when the attack occurred.

Nieuwenhuizen officiated as a linesman in the under-17 match, in which his own son also played, and was set upon immediately after by members of the Nieuw Sloten club. He was allegedly kicked several times in the head but got up and went home.

He became ill a few hours later and died the following day in hospital with his family at his side.

© 2013 AFP

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