“That day, I saw myself die”: the driver who drove into a police officer in Gard gets several years in prison

“That day, I saw myself die”: the driver who drove into a police officer in Gard gets several years in prison

Me Abdelghani Merah, du barreau de Marseille, assurait la défense du prévenu, originaire des Mages. MIDI LIBRE – CHARLES LEDUC

The trial of the driver of September 11 took place this Monday, May 6, in Alès. A hearing punctuated by the emotion of a victim police officer and the anger of the defense lawyer. The defendant, a repeat offender, faced 14 years of incarceration. The prosecution demanded ten… hellip;.

"You judge someone who is unconscious, inconsistent. Someone for whom life has no value." Quentin Larroque, the deputy public prosecutor, does not mince the words he throws in the direction of this young man from Les Mages, in Gard, and aged 24. Judged in immediate appearance before the Alès criminal court, this Monday, May 6, he has just spent the weekend in pre-trial detention and, in addition to the conditions of his arrest, he must ;explain about the aggravated refusal to comply, which occurred on September 11 in Saint-Ambroix, for which he is accused. For the record, at the wheel of a large-capacity German sedan, he made a U-turn in a dead end and drove towards the gendarmes, hitting their car and injuring the elbow of an adjutant who had fled at the last minute. to avoid said driver's car.

Interpellation in Nîmes: “For me, it was in my dream”

Among the civil parties is this soldier from the gendarmerie surveillance and intervention platoon (Psig) who intervened on the front line during the arrest of the accused, in the early morning of May 2, in a hotel from Nîmes-Ouest. During this "heavy" arrest, he found himself with his little finger squared and was issued 22 days of ITT. "I apologize. I was sleeping. I didn't do it on purpose", the defendant defends himself, before the gendarme gives his version: "J&rsquo ;I said "gendarmerie" ; his eyes open; he hits. We say again "gendarmerie"; the insults fly and he struggles." The young man does not budge and maintains that he was & quot;like when you have a nightmare. Why do you want me to resist ten gendarmes ? For me, it was in my dream. It’wasn’t real life…"

That day, the military decided to check him because he was already wanted for hit-and-runs…

He no longer denies the facts…

From his box, the accused adopts a position different from that defended in police custody. This time, he no longer denies the act committed this fall, first described as attempted murder of a person holding public authority (PDAP). He remembers that the gendarme had taken out his gun: "I saw that he wanted to shoot me in the head ; I got scared." Then, he assures that he’did not act &quot ;voluntarily", that’he "wanted to leave under the influence of (his ) friend who was next". This passenger in the car will never have been identified…

"I saw myself die", says the gendarme

Called to the stand, the soldier from Saint-Ambroix who had been given one day of total work interruption (ITT) relates what he knows; has passed, his choice not to use his weapon. "It’went to… pfff, a bit. A hair", he declares with emotion. "That day, I saw myself die." Tremolos punctuate his words: < em>"We're eight months in and, you see, my emotions are betraying me. I did not join the gendarmerie to put my life on the line, but to help people. Not to die!" The defendant insists: "I wanted to dodge this gentleman. For me, if I went around to the side, it would pass…" While Me Nordine Tria, lawyer for four civil party gendarmes, recalls that' "we came within a hair's breadth of the assize court", Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Sauleau, boss of the gendarmes of&rsquo ;Alès, salutes the professionalism and coolness of his non-commissioned officer: "It comes down to a few centimeters as he passes under his wheels. However, he does not use his weapon…"

The thesis of the "miracle"

Quentin Larroque speaks of "miracle" and contradicts the accused  : "There was clearly no room to pass. It’s a miracle he didn’t kill him!"The madness of the moment", is evoked ; the required sentence then rings out in the courtroom. At the opening of the debates, President Cécile Baessa specified that the defendant, a repeat offender, faced up to 14 years in prison. The prosecution is demanding ten, with continued detention.

The anger of the defense lawyer

"We are at the assizes. We are at the Assize Court!", exclaims Me Abdelghani Merah, in defense. "I assure you that there will be an appeal. We're asking you ten years for one day of ITT! I've never heard that and I'll never hear it…" Angry, the lawyer fights < em>"a machine which presents, from the beginning, (its client) as a bloodthirsty monster, the great thug of Gard". He insists that this young man, on September 11, "s’snuck out". He talks about "poorly done investigation", "poor case", the lack of reconstruction and the absence of the passenger who would have said to his client "go ahead, go for it". During his pleading, the council slips that "three years, it’is a sentence which corresponds to his intention". And to this Gardois held in the box who smiles at one point, he says: "Don't laugh, Monsieur! Because the court's decision will make you very funny…"

What sentence does the defendant ultimately receive??

At the beginning of the evening, it falls. The sentence is substantial: six years of imprisonment with continued detention.

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