A migrant from the West African country of Benin has been convicted in Swiss court for a brutal assault on a 27-year-old woman, who he first groped on a train. After she rejected his advances, he repeatedly stabbed her with a broken bottle, nearly killing the woman.
The case dates back to Aug. 4, 2020, when the lives of three people changed forever. A little after 10 a.m. a 26-year-old from Benin who had been sleeping for three days at Romont station near Lausanne saw a woman boarding a train and decided to follow her. On board, he cornered her and tried to touch her crotch. The 27-year-old woman managed to push him away while screaming. She then sat further away from him while a 20-year-old male passenger approached to assist her, reported 20min.ch.
Ukrainian women threatened with murder, harassed in Swiss asylum center
Some of the Algerian migrants already present in the asylum center support the invasion of Ukraine and do not hesitate to let the Ukrainians know about it
The young man called the police, but the Beninese migrant returned, armed with a broken bottle. That is when a scene of horror unfolded, said the prosecutor during the trial, which ran on Thursday last week in Granges-Paccot.
With this sharp object, the Beninese man hit and stabbed his victims, prompting someone to hit the emergency brake at the Chénens station. Police arrived on scene in large numbers, where they arrested the suspect and attempted to aid the young woman who was struggling between life and death.
The woman’s life was saved at a hospital in the city, but she suffers from traumatic and permanent injuries, as her body and face are covered with wounds which required approximately 200 stitches. The young man who tried to help the victim suffered fewer injuries, but they were still serious and required extensive medical treatment.
“I have never seen such violence. I even saw a piece of flesh about seven centimeters in diameter on the ground,” said a witness during the trial.
‘Every morning when I see my body, I think back to everything.’
The woman continues to suffer gravely from the attack.
“I am always anxious and on alert. Every morning when I see my body, I think back to everything. I feel like a monster. I no longer dare to wear skirts, shorts, or T-shirts. There are no words to describe how I feel,” the teary-eyed young woman said during the trial.
Two-thirds of Swiss inmates were foreigners in 2020
Algerians were the most numerous in Swiss prisons by far
The prosecutor charged the Beninese with attempted murder and serious bodily harm. The defendant did not seek to justify his actions in court, with his lawyer only citing his alleged mental illness. The man apparently suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and his lawyers allege he was undergoing a psychological crisis during the attack, a pattern seen in countless murders, arson attacks, rapes, child killings, and even supposed terrorist attacks from migrants entering Europe.
The man is reportedly undergoing medical treatment, and appeared to have difficulty understanding questions during his trial.
‘This is a trial of horror and madness’
However, according to the Swiss Public Ministry, the accused was not completely detached from reality when he attacked the two individuals. The prosecutor, therefore, requested an eight-year prison sentence, coupled with a therapeutic measure in an institution. The defense pleaded for an acquittal, claiming that his client was not aware of what was happening.
Switzerland: Afghan man convicted of raping two children remains at large
The public prosecutor responsible now says he should have detained the suspect
At the end of the afternoon, the judges delivered their verdict. Unable to uphold the conviction that the defendant intended to kill, they did not convict him of the attempted murder. On the other hand, they found him guilty of grievous bodily harm and sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment, together with expulsion from Switzerland for 15 years, after which time he would theoretically be allowed to return.
The man will be placed in a “closed environment” psychiatric environment, which means the assailant will remain locked up until the day when specialists decide that he no longer represents a threat to society, which could last for years or even decades.
It is unclear whether the suspect will be placed in a psychiatric institution or a prison ward with a psychiatric department.