On March 1, Gunther P. harassed a seventeen-year-old girl in Middelkerke in the morning and cycled after her. “You know you’re really hot?” he called to her. P. chased the girl onto the tram, where she took a photo of him. An assault did not occur, but thanks to the photo the court was able to link the case to two later facts.
On May 8, P. chased a 23-year-old woman in Lombardsijde. “My client heard his footsteps getting closer, like in the film,” explained master Frederick Spaey. “He talked dirty and asked her are we going to fuck? Finally he pushed her against a wall and groped her. Fortunately, she was able to break free, flee and call her mother.”
Scarred for life
According to Master Spaey, his client has lived in fear since the facts. “She no longer goes anywhere alone and always travels by car,” he said. “And when she walks to her car in the evening after a visit to the café, she calls her mother until she is in the car. This is not how a young woman should go through life.”
Finally, on May 31, P. also approached a twelve-year-old girl at a tram stop in Westende. He touched her pubic area and breasts, but the girl kicked him and was able to escape. “Young victims have been scarred for life because of your urges,” the girl’s mother testified. “No punishment will be severe enough.”
Drinking and drug use
According to P., heavy alcohol and drug use were the basis for the facts. “As a result, he barely remembers anything about the facts,” lawyer Loes Roels argued. “He denies having pedophilic tendencies. My client is deeply ashamed and says he does not deserve to be released. Yet he wants to work on his problems.”
Master Roels proposed a suspended sentence, but prosecutor Christophe Bergez opposed this and asked for an effective thirty months. “The defendant was previously given conditions in the past, but these were revoked because he relapsed into drug use,” he said. In August, P. also received an effective prison sentence of eight months for assaulting an eighteen-year-old girl in Koksijde.
The Bruges criminal court will give its verdict on December 18.