The 42-year-old Hertsbergen resident who crashed a car on the E40 in Loppem in August 2021 and threatened the occupants with a cable, has also been sentenced to 37 months in prison on appeal.
On August 26, 2021, Jozef Mertens and his wife Anne-Marie Heusdens from Kortenaken in Flemish Brabant were on their way to Nieuwpoort in their Porsche. But on the E40 between Aalter and Beernem, the couple had to deal with a tailgater. Because Jozef apparently did not return to the center section quickly enough, the driver of the Mercedes, Kenneth B. (42), started blowing his horn fiercely. The Hertsbergen resident made threatening gestures and tried to drive the Porsche off the road.
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In Loppem B. was finally able to get the Porsche stuck. Images that the terrified Anne-Marie was able to take with her smartphone show how the crazy man got out of his car and stormed towards their car with a cable in his hand. But her husband remained cool and was able to drive away. It later turned out that the road pirate had already rammed the Mercedes Vito of a couple from Kontich earlier that evening in Drongen. He ran his finger over his throat in a threatening manner and made a pistol gesture with his hand.
Fire extinguisher thrown
B. was in pre-trial detention for a month after the facts. Upon his release, he was given conditions, but he violated them by driving his girlfriend’s car drunk. He was then imprisoned again for two months. During the trial it turned out that he was previously convicted of drug offenses in 2013 and at the beginning of 2020 he was given community service for throwing a fire extinguisher at another car in traffic.
In the first instance, B. was given a 37-month prison sentence, suspended under conditions. The public prosecutor’s office appealed for a four-year suspended prison sentence and a further three months for the cable he was using as a weapon at that time. But the court saw no reasons to increase the sentence and confirmed the 37-month sentence with suspension.
Kenneth B. indicated during the treatment that he had recovered. “It wasn’t supposed to happen, but at the same time it saved me.” The man is now in intensive psychiatric care and no longer drinks a drop of alcohol. The victims in the case have also been fully compensated.