20 years in prison for burning man to death in Breda garage
The court in Breda on Friday sentenced Janie H. to 20 years in prison and institutionalized psychiatric treatment for the murder of garage owner Ger van Zundert last year. The man was beaten up, tied to a chair and then set on fire. One judge described his death as "sadistic", NU.nl reports.
According to the Public Prosecutor, the 52-year-old H. had a business conflict with the garage owner and became "obsessed with Van Zundert and his family".
On April 8, 2019, H. went to the Breda garage with two others. Van Zundert was assaulted and tied up. H. poured benzine over him. He then pulled the tape from the victim's eyes and told him what he was going to do with him. "He took his time for this, while he drank a beer and smoked a cigarette," the court described what happened. He then set Van Zundert on fire.
The heat of the fire snapped the cable ties used to secure the victim to the chair. Van Zundert managed to run away. He was spotted by a neighbor, who quickly put him under a cool shower and called the emergency services. Van Zundert was able to tell the police who attacked him, but succumbed to his injuries a few hours later.
H. denied involvement and, according to the court, gave "a completely implausible" statement of what happened. With this he caused even more damage to Van Zudert's wife and son, the court said.
"Even at the hearing it appeared that the anger against the Van Zundert family is still present," one of the judges said. "We therefore see a serious risk of recidivism." The court therefore imposed a long sentence and institutionalized treatment on the man.
The police received the name of one of the other two men who accompanied H. to Van Zundert's garage through the tip line, but could not find sufficient evidence to implicate him in this crime. The second man has not been identified. According to the court, it does not appear that these two men "had knowledge of the murder plan", as they left before H. set Van Zundert on fire.