” I have nothing more to say. Laconic, Hocine H. quickly punctuated his trial, Friday morning, at the Assizes of the North, in Douai. The jury, left to deliberate in the process, finally condemned him to thirty years of criminal imprisonment and five years of socio-judicial follow-up, for murder, but also for rape. Glaring, the 35-year-old greeted the verdict impassively. He who had completed his act of contrition towards the family of the victim with a bewildering “Big pardon! “.

Sky blue denim shirt, beard and short hair, this man with a sporty look and emaciated, had “massacred” his companion, Sandra, on May 1, 215, in Hazebrouck. The 41-year-old woman, who had once been a prostitute, had been beaten to death for five hours. The autopsy had identified no less than 20 fractures and 144 lesions. “Something that is torture”, had notably stated the Advocate General, Sébastien Piève, in his indictment.

An intelligence quotient of 79

The magistrate was followed in his requests to lock up for a very long time Hocine H., recognized responsible for his actions by four experts. Despite a serious motorcycle accident in 2007 which changed his behavior, as claimed by his family. Despite an intelligence quotient of 79, as one of his two lawyers, Damien Legrand, has constantly hammered home.

It must be said that the weight of guilt was particularly heavy. His record contained no less than 14 convictions for various offences. The Assize Court recognized “the relentlessness”, the “willingness to kill” and the “history of violence” of Hocine H.. “It is a great relief for the family, in particular for the recognition of the rape which was contested, said Blandine Lejeune, the family’s lawyer, after the verdict. The court justified its sanction by evoking violence of a rare intensity. The punishment should be severe. In tears, Sandra’s mother also expressed her relief to the press.

Bankruptcy of the judicial system

Relief on one side and “misunderstanding” on the other. “It is a verdict dictated by emotion. The aggravating circumstances of the rape are not based on any concrete element, ”contests Me Legrand who announces that he and his colleague Me Jean-François Canis, will appeal. And the lawyer to rely on the mistakes of the judicial system to analyze the severity of the judgment. “The Advocate General apologized for the errors of justice in this case, trying to cover up these dysfunctions to put them on the back of the accused,” he explains.

Before Sandra’s death, at least two ex-companions had already filed a complaint against Hocine H. for violence in 2009 and 2013. Sandra herself had filed a complaint. “Defeat is the resignation of the victims. It’s Sandra who doesn’t call the police because she knows she won’t come, it’s the neighbor who hears a noise but who doesn’t call”, had launched the lawyer, in his plea of defense

From the bottom of his cell, Hocine H. has therefore not finished with justice. A new trial is likely to take place at the Pas-de-Calais Court of Appeal. But another case could also catch up with him. When he was last released, in 2020, with the Covid-19 crisis, he was accused of violence and rape by a new companion. It is for this reason that he was in pre-trial detention before his trial.

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