Aardooienaar who beat ex-father-in-law in Torhout half to death with a baseball bat risks severe punishment

Aardooienaar who beat ex-father-in-law in Torhout half to death with a baseball bat risks severe punishment
Aardooienaar who beat ex-father-in-law in Torhout half to death with a baseball bat risks severe punishment

A 28-year-old Ardooienaar risks a heavy sentence before the Bruges court for the attempted murder of his ex-father-in-law in Torhout. In October last year, Samuel C. broke into Mike Verhaeghe’s home at night, beat him badly with a baseball bat and then tried to strangle him and cut his throat. “I feel like someone who was murdered, but can still tell it,” the victim sighs.

The screenplay of a horror movie. This is the best way to describe the facts that Torhoutenaar Mike Verhaeghe (53) had to undergo. On October 29, the ex-boyfriend of his eldest daughter, with whom he had not had a relationship for a few years, smashed the front door of his home in Klaproosstraat in the evening. The fire brigade came to close the hole, but Samuel C. returned that same night. Footage from a security camera showed how the Ardooienaar parked his BMW in front of the N-VA politician’s home around 1 am and shattered the windows of his car with a baseball bat. Then he smashed in the front door a second time.

Mike Verhaeghe woke up in the house because of the noise and again informed the police. “The next moment he got a few hard blows to the head from the baseball bat,” pleaded Kris Vincke, Mike Verhaeghe’s lawyer. “He was kicked and beaten all over the body, his throat was squeezed and finally the defendant also tried to cut his throat with a kitchen knife. Fortunately, he was able to fend this off with his hands. The defendant left my client for dead and then smashed the household effects.”

Garage

Miraculously, Verhaeghe remained conscious and – bleeding profusely from the head – scrambled back up. “When the defendant saw that my client was still alive, a game of cat and mouse arose,” Vincke continued. “He ran after my client with that bat and repeatedly yelled ‘I’m going to kill you’. Meanwhile, my client’s blood spread all over the house.” The teacher in special education was eventually able to hide in the garage, after which the police arrested C. in the living room.

According to Vincke, Verhaeghe still wakes up very often to check everything in his home. “He has nightmares where he sees that bat coming at him. His left leg was in very bad shape, so he can’t walk for long and he also suffers from shooting pains in the head.” Verhaeghe thanked the police and emergency services during the hearing. “I hide my mental and physical suffering as much as possible because I don’t want to be a burden to anyone,” he testified. “I feel like someone who was murdered but can still tell it. I don’t know how long I can keep this up.”

Convictions

According to the public prosecutor it is established that C. wanted to kill the victim. He also referred to his criminal record, which has 16 convictions. C. also struggled with a drug problem and at the time of the facts he was under conditions for beating a cop. He was given a five-month probation for this. For the facts on Mike Verhaeghe, the prosecutor asked for a strict punishment, possibly linked to probation conditions.

However, the defense is of the opinion that there was no intent to kill. “He just wanted to teach the victim a lesson,” pleaded master Pieterjan Dens. “My client states that his ex was pregnant with him but had an abortion under pressure from her father. He wished he would admit it, but he certainly didn’t want to kill him. By the way, the baseball bat was already cut in half after the first hit on the car and my client says the victim grabbed that knife first.” Master Dens requested a suspended sentence for his client.

According to master Vincke, it is a lie that Samuel C.’s ex had an abortion. “She’s never even been pregnant with him,” he said. C. expressed his regret at the end of the session. “It all happened out of resentment and grief for that child,” he said. The judge will rule on October 3. (AFr)

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Aardooienaar beat exfatherinlaw Torhout death baseball bat risks severe punishment

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