"Being robbed is never pleasant, especially since the victims never know if the weapons are real or fake," recalled President Isabelle Verissimo – this Friday – looking at the two Meldois planted in the box of the criminal court of Meaux.
The two youths – aged only 18 and 19 – were on trial for "attempted robbery aggravated by three circumstances", namely in a meeting, with violence and with their faces covered. Behind this formula, we must see the robbery of two young people, committed on August 20, in Mareuil-lès-Meaux. The latter were busy on a cross-country bike, which had just broken down, when they had seen three strangers in a gray Opel Mokka. Despite several attempts, the criminals – who displayed two handguns – had given up taking their loot. The machine was really broken down and they had not managed to load it into the trunk of the car.
It was at the end of August that the two defendants were placed in custody - the third having not been identified - in the premises of the gendarmerie company of Meaux. The investigators conducted intense investigations – viewing CCTV images, exploiting DNA found on a bunch of keys lost by a criminal, numerous hearings – to lead to their arrest.
Criminal acts corrected
At the hearing, the eldest – referring to the lure of "easy money" – admitted to having participated in the attack, as he had already done before investigators. He assured that his weapon was a ball gun, bought in a bazaar-type shop in Meaux. The young man, judged to be a repeat offender, still faced 20 years in prison. "There is a real gap between the seriousness of the facts and his personality. What a trivialization of the passage to the act! For him, with a dummy weapon, he could not give death, "pleaded Thierry Benkimoun, his lawyer. Before stressing that his client had acknowledged his participation from the beginning of his police custody.
As for the other defendant, who had denied his participation before the gendarmes, he confessed - in front of the judges - to have been one of the criminals. The court sentenced the first to one year in prison which he will serve in semi-freedom, the second to one year in prison, including four months under electronic bracelet. They are also forbidden to appear, for a year, in the district of Beauval for the first, in the whole city of Meaux for the second.
Deputy prosecutor Myriam Khouas had requested ten months in prison to be served in semi-freedom, with revocation of two additional months pronounced during a previous conviction, against the recidivist. "It's sad, not even 20 years old, to find ourselves in a case of such gravity. Dummy weapon or not, it's the same thing under the law. These are criminal acts that have been corrected. We are not in a game, "said the prosecutor.
And to ask for ten months of prison suspended probation against his co-defendant: "They were bored that Sunday afternoon? Of course, it's easier to steal from others than to earn money legally. Where are we going to find them in ten years? They will have to assume like adults. They're not going to get away with a little internship or community service."