According to the court, Jos B. Kidnapped Nicky in 1998 from the summer camp on Brunssummerheide, committed fornication with him and killed him.
The sentence is 3.5 years longer than the court previously imposed and a huge relief for Nicky’s family. They had to wait 24 years for the conviction of the man they hold responsible for the death of their son and brother.
Not a second of doubt
Even though it is still questionable what Nicky’s last moments have been like, Berthie, Peetje and Femke Verstappen have not doubted Jos B.’s guilt for a second since his arrest in 2018 and are relieved that the appeal court also seemed to think so.
After the verdict, the family members and the advocates general hugged each other in the courtroom, while Jos B. walked back to his cell, an illusion poorer.
Father Peet Verstappen could not resist calling out to the condemned. Article continues below the video.
Attorneys-general Gerard Sta and Eefje Verheijen were “very satisfied” with the court’s verdict. Even though they had demanded twenty years, and the court did not find the worst form of manslaughter and rape of Nicky. In any case, the Public Prosecution Service will not go to the Supreme Court, but Jos B. will, lawyer Roethof said.
According to the lawyer, the Court of Appeal has taken ‘details’, which would be apparent from the frequently used formulation ‘it cannot be otherwise than that…’ Roethof: ‘The question is whether that interpretation is correct.’
Jos B. during the verdict.
Ⓒ Petra Urban
The court called it “poor” that Jos B. for years suggested that he would at some point open up his affairs. He screened with a safe deposit statement that only appeared during the appeal and had been blacked out for three-quarters by his lawyers. That vault statement contained what Jos B. had already said in a video statement. He had found Nicky Verstappen on the Brunssummerheide in the Christmas tree plot, but the boy was already dead. He checked the heart rate and breathing, then adjusted the boy’s clothes and left without mentioning his find.
The court says that Jos B. has aligned his statements with the file, to provide an explanation for the discovery of his DNA in Nicky’s underpants. The court also finds it significant that Jos B. promised to cooperate with DNA kinship research, but in reality fled to Spain.
Just like the court, the court sees evidence for the way in which Jos B. must have operated with Nicky Verstappen in two previous sexual assault incidents in 1984 and 1985 involving three boys between the ages of ten and twelve.
Jos B. does not accept the sentence to sixteen years in prison by the court in Den Bosch on Friday. B. denies. His lawyer Gerald Roethof announced immediately afterwards that he would appeal in cassation. He spoke of a “remarkable judgment.” “The court has filled in cases, the question now is whether that was done in the right way.” The Supreme Court must now consider whether the procedure has been conducted correctly.
At the end of 2020, the Maastricht court sentenced B. to 12.5 years in prison. According to Roethof, B. was aware of the risk that his sentence would be higher. “He maintains that he didn’t do it. He’s very clear about that, he doesn’t want to sit for something he hasn’t done.”
According to Roethof, B. is “disturbed” by the ruling. “Of course this affects him.”