A former regional director of the Publicis advertising agency was sentenced on Wednesday by the Nantes (Loire-Atlantique) criminal court for having "sprayed" the home of a woman with a machine gun because of a drug debt from his companion. André Stéphant, 61, was sentenced to two years in prison but will be able to serve them at his parents' home using an electronic bracelet. A two-year prison sentence with a probationary suspension of three years - including an obligation of work and care - was also pronounced. Her own partner Hiwot Yohanns - a 29-year-old woman from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - received the same sentence for her part, but with continued detention after the hearing: she had already been sentenced four times.
On the night of July 1 to 2, 2020, both went to the home of Olivier Fernandez's companion: this drug addict owed 60 euros to the wife of the former Publicis executive, after she advanced him a “Gram of cocaine” at a party. Arrived in France to be adopted, Hiwot Yohanns had finally landed at the DDASS before becoming pregnant at 14 and then sinking into drugs.
André Stéphant, for his part, had worked for 23 years at Publicis before setting up his own business in March 2018 following a "burnout".
"Divorce and dismissal" had made it "sink", he said on Wednesday.
The man had come to apply for the Active Solidarity Income (RSA), but had kept his Ford Mustang and his Fiat 500 Abarth to keep up appearances to those around him, his lawyer said.
The couple had met six months earlier, at a "mutual friend".
Man is an arms collector
The night of the facts, around 1:30 in the morning, both went for the first time to the home of Olivier Fernandez's companion "to recover the money". "Something scratching against the door" had prompted the tenant to open: the defendants had indeed "engraved the word DEATH" on her front door. The victim was then threatened "with a cutter" by the defendant, while the former Publicis executive "slapped her". His drug addict companion, meanwhile, had courageously "hidden" for fear "of being taken in a car trunk" ...
The two defendants then returned at the wheel of the Fiat 500 Abarth of the former Publicis executive "to spend the evening". But Hiwot Yohanns' "incentives" had prompted them to turn around, and the former Publicis executive had complied to "exist" in the eyes of his young companion. Back on the scene, the sixty-year-old had therefore fired "in the direction of the lintel" of Monia Brahimi's window, taking care to "recover the casings in a plastic bag".
A bullet had hit the victim "by ricochet" in the hip but in all, seven bullet holes were found by the police: this "arms collector" had used a particular "submachine gun". A Sten "frequently used by the Resistance fighters during the Second World War", he was careful to specify. Grenades, eleven revolvers, a rifle, two Kalashnikovs, a rifle - notably "inherited from his grandparents" - were subsequently seized from the home of this father of a 17-year-old teenager, who resides in joint custody with him.