Two men who could be linked to a series of armed robberies are requesting a lighter sentence on appeal. Both claim to have improved their lives and are also paying off their debt. “We have been very stupid”, sounded in unison.
The Smatch in Zulte, the Spar in Wielsbeke, a Crelan bank branch in Zulte, a tire center in Roeselare or the Maxi Zoo in Waregem. These are just a few of the businesses that fell victim to a series of armed brutal robberies between 2017 and 2020. They were committed by 38-year-old Jürgen D. from Waregem, together with 29-year-old Jaimy D. from Wielsbeke.
They usually entered before closing time. They were masked, brandished a firearm or used pepper spray. They targeted the cash register and tried to steal as much cash as possible. The defendants could stay under the radar for a long time, but a testimony from an ex-partner got the ball rolling. The police were able to arrest the two men, one robber has been in custody since his arrest.
“Dumnest decision ever”
In the first instance they received 9 and 7 years in prison, on appeal they now hope for a reduced sentence. “My client has previously incurred 88,000 euros in fines in the police court. When the bailiff came to his door and threatened to seize, he made the dumbest decision ever,” pleaded Jaimy D’s lawyer. In the meantime, the man would have stopped using drugs and will pay off his fines and the damage he caused. “For months he lived in fear that he would be caught. He was afraid of every combi or agent that they would arrest him.”
Jürgen D., who received 9 years and is still in prison, is also doing well, according to his lawyer. “He is sorry and wants to make amends. He works in prison, at 0.75 euros an hour. He pays 75 euros per month to the victims.”
Both personally expressed their regret. “We have been very stupid,” he said. But the prosecutor’s office sticks to the strict sentences. “This was years of terror in the region, this cannot just pass.”
Judgment on January 10.