It is a trial that could have ended with much higher sentences.
Seven people were sentenced on Monday by the Pas-de-Calais Assize Court to terms of up to five years in prison, two of which were suspended, most of them accused of having kidnapped and subjected abuse of three Romanians whom they suspected of burglary.
Nine people, members or relatives of the same family, originally from Wimereux appeared free since September 6: eight for "sequestration", "arbitrary detention" with "torture and act of barbarism" and one for non-prevention of crime.
The three victims were absent from the hearing.
The three Romanians were employed by this family of fairgrounds settled on the seafront of Wimereux, a seaside resort in the Channel located near Boulogne-sur-Mer.
A relative of these fairgrounds, the father's brother, had been "the victim of a burglary" and they "suspected the Romanians", explained a legal source at the time of the events.
In July 2017, "in retaliation and for a few hours, the defendants subjected the three Romanians to the worst abuses, such as burns caused by a heat gun or mock hanging in a caravan in Wimereux", had- she adds.
They were tied up, beaten, threatened with weapons, soaked in water and locked in a refrigerator, before being released in a parking lot.
During his indictment, Advocate General Philippe Sabatier, described “monstrous acts committed by people who are not monsters”.
The court tougher than the Advocate General
"It is not justified to reincarcerate them, in view of the damage that this could cause on their reintegration", estimated the Advocate General, requesting the acquittal for four of them - on the grounds of an absence of evidence - and sentences ranging from three to five years, with a suspended sentence, for the other five.
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But the court was more severe, passing sentences ranging from five years in prison, two of which were suspended to one year in prison.
Two people were acquitted.
For Me Fleur Bridoux, lawyer for civil parties, this is a "measured" verdict which "takes into account both the seriousness of the facts through the firm sentences that have been handed down" and "the personality of the accused", who are all “socially integrated”.
A "verdict of appeasement" for Me Julien Delarue, lawyer for one of the accused sentenced to five years in prison, two of which were suspended, "both significant and at the same time which fortunately must not compromise the future of these people ".