At the assize trial about the camping murder, Romuald Verburgh (35) emphasized that he himself did not use violence against Mihael Parrent (37). His co-accused claimed during their interrogation earlier in the afternoon that Verburgh would have beaten the victim. Verburgh also stated that he was too afraid to inform the emergency services.
Romuald Verburgh lived in an apartment along the Oostendelaan in Middelkerke, but also considered renting a caravan at camping Marva III. In this context, he went to his caravan on 6 December 2017 with Alain Deltrude (48) and Julien Butera (33). “I didn’t even know Mihael was there at the time. That was just visiting them. But it’s actually completely escalated.” Parrent was woken up by Butera for leaving salmon on the floor. The victim was then also beaten by Butera. “But the first blow I saw was from Alain, when I came back from the toilet,” said Verburgh.
There was a discussion in the caravan for fifteen minutes about alleged thefts by Parrent. “Mihael said it wasn’t all true. And they started to get duller and duller.” The victim also received more and more blows. “The second time Alain hit the pot or the pan, it started to go faster and he took a knife into the kitchen. I told him to calm down, but he couldn’t.” Verburgh also claimed that he tried several times to get the other accused to stop, but they contradicted that. They also continued to insist that Verburgh also dealt some blows himself.
At one point, Verburgh withdrew to a bedroom. From there, he is said to have heard Deltrude shouting ‘Allah akbar’ while cutting the victim’s throat. “I’m a Muslim, but I certainly didn’t say that,” Deltrude refuted. “You can’t, it’s like starting to curse Christ in a church.”
Chairman Bart Meganck asked several times why Verburgh did not simply inform the police. “What can you do if they both have a knife? I’m not Superman either,” said Verburgh. He said he was paralyzed with fear at the time. “They were under the influence of alcohol and medication. You never know how they would react if I called the police behind their hole.”
After the facts, the trio visited an acquaintance and Verburgh even went home for dinner. Finally, he decided to ask a law student friend for help. Kelly D. and her then boyfriend drove effectively from the Namur region to Middelkerke. “Many people are not going to get help if witnesses of very bad facts all call a lawyer first,” the chairman noted.
According to Verburgh, it was not his intention at the time to make the corpse disappear, but simply sought support from Kelly. “She knew more than I what to do in such a situation. I was scared to go to the police for something I hadn’t done.” Verburgh admitted that he should have chosen a different solution. “I didn’t know what to do. I might not have been here if I had gone to the police. I regret what I did. I wasn’t myself either.”
The witness hearings will start on Monday morning. The police officers who discovered the mutilated body of the victim in Kelly D.’s car are the first to speak.
Read all about the Campsite Murder in Middelkerke in our file.