That day, S. called his mother and told her that he had stabbed his American roommate. His mother then made a 112 call. Police officers found Sarah in the house on Kralingse Kerklaan, but were unable to resuscitate her.

Although S. says he cannot remember exactly what happened that day, the court considers proven that he is the culprit. His clothes with Sarah’s blood and the knife with which he stabbed her were found in a garbage bag in his room.

‘Extremely violent’

S. does remember that he was angry with Sarah and was waiting for her to talk to her in the morning. They then got into a fight and a struggle arose, where Sarah bit him.

The judge takes into account in the sentence that Sarah was killed in an ‘extremely violent’ way. At the same time, the young age of S. plays a role, as does his greatly reduced imputability, as confirmed by the research of a psychologist and a psychiatrist. S. suffers from a combination of disorders: autistic, depressive and psychotic. That is why the judge decided on a six years sentence, four years less than the prosecutor demanded.

Besides the prison time, the court imposes compulsory hospital treatment (so-called TBS), since the judge considered the chance of repetition ‘very real’. This risk of recurrence makes ‘long-term supervision and treatment’ necessary.

Sarah Papenheim at the Eureka Week 2017

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