A 32-year-old man has just been sentenced on Monday to 12 years in prison by the Assize Court of Versailles for intentional violence resulting in death without intent to give it after a brawl that cost the life of a man on June 17, 2018. He appeared free, having already served two years in pre-trial detention. His friend, a year his junior, was found guilty of failing to assist a person in danger for failing to intervene. He escaped with a 12-month probation.
That evening, on private land in Flins-sur-Seine, the two men arrive at a birthday party around 21:30 p.m., joining a dozen people. The alcohol flows freely and the situation degenerates around 3:30 am. The victim, then 33 years old, had a blood alcohol level of 1.67 g/l. She allegedly behaved annoyingly to the other participants, dropping grills from the barbecue, taking a cigarette from a girl's hands or staggering over her drink.
According to the defendants' version during the trial, the victim first argued verbally with one of them, then physically attacked the other for reasons that none says they can explain. "He came up to me and punched me, we both fell to the ground," says the perpetrator. He got on top of me and kept hitting me. I managed to flip him over and punched him with my left hand. »
A scene of chaos between violence and panic
While the victim is unconscious on the ground, his tormentor continues to beat him. Around him, the other guests try to reason with him, cry out in panic, but he continues. A young person will even try to intervene and receive a blow to the face of the second accused. "I just punched because I was elbowed," he said. It's possible that I told others to let them fight. It was one-on-one. »
When the fight stopped, the two claimed to have stayed on the scene for about ten minutes, to have checked that the victim was breathing and to have left when the firefighters arrived. "For me he had fallen into apples, I didn't think it was so bad," says the brawler. I told myself in the worst case he goes to the hospital. »
However, the man left on the ground will not get up. Firefighters, who arrived around 4:30 a.m. on the scene, will not be able to resuscitate him. The protagonists learn of his death the next day, in the early afternoon, and do not report to the police station until later in the evening, around 21:30 p.m.
At the hearing, jurors' questions often went unanswered. "I can't remember," the defendants repeated repeatedly. Several participants in the evening deliberately lied to the police to protect their friends, from well-known families in the Traveller community, before finally retracting their statements. "After all that we have heard at the bar, it is difficult to distinguish between lies and partiality," says the president of the Assize Court.
It appears, however, that some elements do not fit with the stated version. Before the fight broke out, the main convict allegedly took off his jacket while shouting "where is the human?", as if to indicate his intention to fight. Around them, everyone would have tried to dissuade them from fighting.
And when the victim no longer responded, a wave of panic would have seized the party. People reportedly shouted "stop you're going to kill him", to the crazy knocker. The latter, when he finally stopped hitting, would also have shouted his name, as if out of pride. Several witnesses claim that the two men fled immediately after the brawl. On the ground, the thirty-year-old placed in a lateral safety position no longer reacted to stimuli, had eyes revulsed and blood flowed from his mouth.
The autopsy will demonstrate the relentlessness with seven impacts of violent blows including six on the face. The author escapes with a bruise on his cheek and some scratches. "I returned the blows he gave me," the attacker justified, without convincing. "The difference is that he is dead," conclude at low mass the relatives of the deceased, stunned by the "lies" heard during this trying trial.