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The bodybuilder on the hood

The Supreme Court has criticized a judgment of the Pfäffikon District Court in two aspects in an exceptionally sharp manner. “We rolled our eyes – that’s not how it works,” said court chairman Beat Gut about the decision of the lower court.

Before the Zurich Higher Court, the criminal defense lawyer tried to portray the accused’s ex-partner as a liar.

Ennio Leanza / Keystone

It is actually undisputed that a 42-year-old man, who was stalking his wife, who is legally separated from him, drove up to his ex-partner’s new boyfriend in a Subaru on October 27, 2020 in Pfäffikon. This, a trained bodybuilder, jumped onto the hood to save himself and shortly afterwards landed on the ground again. He suffered knee injuries and bruised ribs.

The Pfäffikon district court acquitted the driver of the charge of attempted murder almost a year ago. It didn’t even recognize an attempted assault or assault. Although the chief judges agree that the act cannot be qualified as attempted homicide, at the same time the court chairman Beat Gut stated in the reasoning in the appeal process: “It is not possible for such behavior to end with an acquittal.” The chief justices rolled their eyes when they took note of this.

There were rolled eyes a second time: the accused had braked his wife on the highway with his car on the same day. The Pfäffikon district court had imposed a 24-month prison sentence for this gross violation of traffic regulations. – “This is a blatant abuse of discretion by the district court,” explains Chief Justice Gut. A penalty for this mass crime is usually in the range of 50 daily fines.

In the previous trial, the lawyers for the wife and the bodybuilder had criticized the lower court with unusually severe criticism. Words like “absurd”, “lack of knowledge of the files”, “manipulated interpretation of statements” were used in their pleadings. The lower court’s judgment has serious flaws.

Showdown at the wife’s place of residence

The indictment deals with a whole series of allegations in connection with stalking: The accused is said to have pursued his wife with the car on that October day, with harassment braking being said to have occurred on the freeway. The accused then drove to his wife’s place of residence. When her new friend got out of the car there, he is said to have shouted: “I’ll kill you, you don’t know who you’re dealing with. I’ll cut off your head.”

After that, the accused is said to have accelerated his car and raced towards the bodybuilder. According to the indictment, he was able to prevent himself from being knocked over and run over by jumping on the bonnet. The public prosecutor had requested a prison sentence of 7 years for attempted murder and other offenses as well as 15 years expulsion from the country before the lower court. The accused is North Macedonian.

As mentioned, the Pfäffikon District Court acquitted the 42-year-old of the charge of attempted murder. However, he was sentenced to a rather high prison sentence of 28 months for gross violation of traffic rules, threats, attempted threats and attempted coercion. The accused had driven towards the bodybuilder, but had braked in time, the district judges had justified.

The car had already stopped when the bodybuilder jumped onto the hood, so the accused did not accept physical injury or death. The differences in the descriptions of the wife and the bodybuilder are also too great to dispel reasonable doubts about the course of events.

The Supreme Court also came to the conclusion that the accused drove towards the bodybuilder, but braked in good time. There was therefore no intention to kill. But it was a simple assault. The higher court also sees the other criminal offenses as fulfilled, but the penalty imposed by the lower court is far too high.

The Supreme Court sentenced the 42-year-old to a mere 14 months in prison for simple bodily harm, gross violation of traffic rules, multiple threats, attempted threats and attempted coercion. Because a catalog act is also missing this time, there is again no country reference.

The convict has to pay his wife and the bodybuilder 2,000 francs each. As before the lower court, he receives a contact and district ban for 5 years and is not allowed to stay closer than 500 meters from the place of residence of the person concerned.

The convicted person receives 77,900 francs

Since the accused has already been in prison for 807 days, he will receive compensation of 57,300 francs for unjustly suffered excessive detention. In addition, he is awarded 20,600 francs for the financial damage he suffered (including lost unemployment benefits). The man is immediately released from prison.

In the previous trial, the accused refused to make any statements about the matter and only answered personal questions. He lived with the woman for 14 years. They have a four-and-a-half-year-old daughter who he hasn’t seen in two years. He loved his wife, he says. Today, however, she no longer interests him, only the daughter. She means everything to him. There is no risk of relapse from him. He guarantees that.

He contradicts the psychiatric report, which had diagnosed a risk of relapse and narcissistic personality traits in him. He is an egotist with a lack of empathy. The 42-year-old explains that he does not agree with the diagnosis. When Chief Justice Gut asked specifically whether he was dangerous, he replied that no, nobody should be afraid of him. “We’re not in the Wild West here.”

The prosecutor renewed her lower court applications. The legal representatives of the wife and the bodybuilder plead for 3,000 and 5,000 francs of satisfaction.

The defense attorney tries to portray the wife as a liar. He wants an acquittal of all charges. He calls the marital conflict “a typical behavior of spouses in separation stories.” In the case of a sanction, a conditional fine of a maximum of 150 daily rates of CHF 30 is appropriate. He is also demanding 125,000 francs in damages and 132,000 francs in compensation for excessive custody.

Judgment SB220247 of January 12, 2023, not yet final.

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