Today is day 4 in the trial against Jos Brech in the case of Nicky Verstappen. We heard victim impact statements from Nicky’s direct family members: his mother Berthie Verstappen spoke also on behalve of father Peter, Nicky’s younger sister Femke, and Peter’s sister Jacqueline.
Earlier today, the family had asked the court whether they would allow them to sit at the prosecution’s table so that they are positioned directly opposite Brech. After 22 years, their wish was to face him and look him in the eye when they spoke. The defense had no objections.
After deliberation, the court granted this request which is highly unusual.
Nicky’s mom spoke about the pain of missing her beloved child and that the pain never left or softened. Every birthday, every holiday, every day has been dark.
After Nicky’s death, the family stopped any kind of celebration and never again took a vacation which had psychological effects on everyone but especially on Nicky’s younger sister Femke, who was seven years old when Nicky was taken away from her.
Femke asked Brech about Nicky’s last moments. Was he afraid, did he say anything, did he call for his family? She spoke about growing up without a big brother, always being surrounded by worries and sorrow, accompanied by an everlasting and never-healing wound. Femke spoke about trust issues she developed with other people and/or partners.
Aunt Jacqueline (she spoke first) mentioned a crucial point: from the day that Nicky was found dead the family’s public identity changed. Instead of being an ordinary four-person family they became the victim’s family. They became Nicky Verstappen’s parents and sister. Their individuality became morphed with Nicky’s fate and was overshadowed by the open questions in his death.
Every day since his death, the family lights a candle for Nicky.
His mom accused Brech of being a wild animal hunting for prey at the time and right now, he sits there as a coward not answering any questions. Brech did not look away from the family members but didn’t give them any answers either. When questioned, he repeated that as he found Nicky already deceased he could not answer any of these questions. He acknowledged their pain and said that if he had lost a child or a sibling, his responses would be the same.
The family wondered what kind of man Nicky would have become if he had been allowed to grow up. What kind of profession he would have chosen, what would he look like, would he have become a father, would he have kept going to soccer games with his dad as he did? Nicky is forever an eleven year old boy in their hearts and minds.
On Thursday, October 8, we will hear closing statements from the prosecution in which they detail again their charges, the evidence, and the sentence that comes with those charges. The charges are abduction, sexual abuse, suffocation, and possession of child pornography. The prosecution estimates to take up the whole day.
On Monday, October 12, we will hear the summation from the defense.
Note that if the three judges find that the evidence as presented in court supports the charges the maximum sentence under Dutch Law is life imprisonment. Note that the exact cause of death has never been established due to the advanced state of decomposition of the body upon recovery.
All posts about Nicky Verstappen can be found here.