Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 08:19
Leiden mayor confident in Benno L.
Leiden mayor Henri Lenferink has so much faith in Benno L.'s reintroduction into society that he's staking his mayorship on it. "If it goes wrong with Benno L., then I'll step down", Lenferink said Monday during a gathering for residents of Leiden. Benno L., has been granted a flat in Leiden in order to rehabilitate him into society, after having been condemned to six years in prison for pedophilia. The decision caused an uproar in the city, mainly because residents were not informed. In the last few days, there have been protests at Benno L.'s flat in Leiden. Lenferink thinks that all is not well with L., who lives in a bare cement home. "L. is very sad and scared, a broken man." The mayor does understand the anger that arose when it became known that L. is living in Leiden. He also believes that people could make L.'s life very difficult. Former swimming instructor, Benno L., has done his time for sexually abusing dozens of young children. He has since been ostracized in every place he has attempted to make a life. In the past weekend, residents of Leiden were in an uproar. Police had to be on guard at L.'s flat, to keep the peace. At the gathering on Monday afternoon, things were more calm. About 20 people were present. Outside, there were a few people as well, including one with a banner on which was written that Lenferink should quit because "Benno L. lives surrounded by schools." Lenferink is happy that there weren't large groups of people at the meeting. "Then you can have a good discussion with people", Lenferink said. "Yesterday, I also spoke extensively with people and they did show more understanding after that. I also personally despise pedophiles, but they do have to live somewhere." A witness from the meeting does not believe there to be sufficient support for Lenferink, even though the mayor did repeat that everything has been investigated and that it would all be fine, the Telegraaf reports.