A 38-year-old Sudanese man was sentenced Wednesday by the Assize Court of Pyrénées-Atlantiques to life imprisonment for murdering an asylum seeker center manager in 2021 in Pau. The sentence, in accordance with the requests of the Advocate General, is accompanied by a permanent exclusion from French territory at the end of the period of detention.
On February 19, 2021, Sheriff Hamed Shogar had stabbed about fifteen times to the head of the asylum unit within the Isard COS reception structure in Pau. Cyril Pierreval, a 46-year-old social worker and father of two, died an hour later in his office, despite attempts by his colleagues to save him.
"This is not a simple murder, it is a massacre, Cyril Pierreval was stabbed," summarized the attorney general, Rodolphe Jarry, insisting on the "stated will to kill". The Sudanese had gone to the reception center that day armed with a knife with a 15 cm blade. For several years, he had maintained what the Advocate General defined as a "dull anger transformed into visceral hatred" against Isard COS, whom he held responsible for his precarious administrative situation.
Arriving in France in 2015, he had obtained subsidiary protection from the Ofpra (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons), thanks in particular to the help of the head of the asylum division of the association, Cyril Pierreval. But two convictions for violence and his 18 months in detention earned him a stripping of his status.
"I did not intend to kill him," the accused had assured.
"The persistent inability to question himself, even at the hearing, and this feeling of persecution that he does not get rid of," are factors that "worry enormously," said Rodolphe Jarry before requesting the maximum sentence, accompanied by a security sentence of 18 years and permanent inadmissibility.
"I did not intend to kill him," the accused said on the first day of his trial. As a final word, before the jurors retired to deliberate, he "asked everyone for forgiveness."
"He is not only this filthy beast, he is also a man, with his story," pleaded in his defense, Me Béatrice Spiteri-Vinci. She spoke of "an impulse for extreme violence", trying to undermine the thesis of the premeditation of the crime.
Born in 1983 in Sudan's northern Darfur, the man fled his country at the beginning of the civil war, joining a refugee camp in Chad in 2003, with his siblings. Entering Europe through Greece in 2009, he then joined Calais with the intention of leaving for England, without success. In 2015, his asylum application in France allowed him to be transferred to the reception centre in Pau.