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

The trial of the September 11 driver 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 requested ten….

“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 the refusal to aggravated obedience, 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 moved at the last minute to avoid the car. of said driver.

Arrest 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 in Nîmes-Ouest . During this “heavy-handed” arrest, he found himself with his little finger squared and was given 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: “I said ‘gendarmerie’; his eyes open; he knocks. We say ‘gendarmerie’ again; the insults fly and he struggles.” The young man does not budge and maintains that he was “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 drawn his weapon: “I saw that he wanted to punch me in the face; I got scared.” Then, he assures that he did not act “voluntarily”that he has “wanted to leave under the influence of (her) friend who was next door”. 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 a day of total work interruption (ITT) recounts what happened, his choice not to use his weapon. “It’s gone to… pfff, a hair. A hair”he declares with emotion. “That day I saw myself die.” Tremolos punctuate his words: “We are eight months past 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 criminal court”Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Sauleau, boss of the Alès gendarmes, salutes the professionalism and coolness of his non-commissioned officer: “It’s a matter of a few centimeters passing under his wheels. However, he doesn’t use his weapon…”

The “miracle” thesis

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 mentioned; 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. You are being asked for ten years for one day of ITT! I have never heard that and I will never hear it…” Angry, the lawyer fights “a machine which presents, from the beginning, (his client) like a bloodthirsty monster, the great thug of Gard”. He insists that this young man, on September 11, “sneaked in”. He speaks of“poorly done investigation”of “poor record”the lack of reconstruction and the absence of the passenger who allegedly told his client “go ahead”. During his pleading, the council slips that “three years is a sentence that corresponds to his intention”. And to this Gardois held in the box who smiles at one point, he says: “Don’t laugh, sir! Because the court’s decision will make you very funny…”

What sentence does the defendant ultimately receive?

In the early evening, it falls. The sentence is substantial: six years’ imprisonment with continued detention.



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