Femicide in Alsace: 29 years of imprisonment for a “savage” crime

Bruno Peter was sentenced Friday by the Bas-Rhin assizes to 29 years' imprisonment for the assassination of his ex-partner Christine Bailly, a "heavy" sentence which the victim's children hope will help to "awaken the consciences" in matters of feminicide.

Femicide in Alsace: 29 years of imprisonment for a “savage” crime

Bruno Peter was sentenced Friday by the Bas-Rhin assizes to 29 years' imprisonment for the assassination of his ex-partner Christine Bailly, a "heavy" sentence which the victim's children hope will help to "awaken the consciences" in matters of feminicide.

The verdict, delivered after an express deliberation of a little over an hour, is slightly short of the 30 years of imprisonment, accompanied by 20 years of security, requested by the attorney general, Eve Nisand.

At the sentencing, Bruno Peter, 53, remained impassive while the victim's relatives advanced towards the civil parties' bench to stare at him.

His lawyer, Matthieu Dulucq, did not immediately know whether his client would appeal. “He must digest” the Court’s decision, the council, who had urged the jurors to pronounce a “fair” sentence, told journalists.

– “Wild” crime –

“I deeply regret my action,” this former technician told the Court before the deliberations.

The sanction is “heavy” and “adapted” to this “wild” crime, said the counsel for the victim’s children, Francis Metzger. Like the attorney general and an expert psychologist, he wondered about the potential "dangerousness" of Mr. Peter if he were to find himself, after his detention, in a situation of rupture similar to the one experienced with Mrs. Bailly.

She broke up with him at the beginning of June 2020 and found a new companion, which the accused could not stand. This 58-year-old caregiver was discovered on September 26, 2020 in the basement of her house in Wissembourg (Bas-Rhin) lying in a pool of blood, her throat cut and her body lacerated with stab wounds. Bruno Peter, on the run, was arrested two days later in the South-East.

"The sentence is substantial and seems deserved", even if the "impact" of the death of "our mother on our lives cannot be expressed in number of years", estimated the victim's son, Nicolas. “I dare to hope that it can raise awareness” regarding feminicides “and that we continue (to) apply substantial penalties,” added his sister, Perrine.

On average, a feminicide occurs every three days in France. The Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti recently put forward the figure of 94 femicides in 2023, compared to 118 in 2022, a drop welcomed with caution by feminist associations.

Bruno Peter committed a "crime of possession", "meticulously" premeditated, he killed Christine "because her object escaped her": she "had dared to leave him" and "dated another" man, Eve insisted Nisand.

- "Disconnected" -

Evidence of premeditation, according to her: the purchase of a tear gas bomb to “gas” Christine and a knife to kill her; the letter in which he said he had “decided to kill (her)”; preparing for his escape by withdrawing a large sum in cash and filling his car with business to be able to “last”…

In 2013, Ms. Nisand again recalled, during his stormy divorce from his ex-wife, Bruno Peter had already written a letter, not followed up, in which he told their two children that he had "taken away" their mother. The latter, who testified at the trial, never started her life again.

For the general counsel, Bruno Peter "changed" on September 18, 2020 when he learned that Christine's new companion, whom he had monitored and had monitored, had just spent the night at her house.

A “betrayal” for the one who will kill the fifty-year-old a few days later, according to the magistrate, brushing aside the hypothesis of an act under the influence of an anxiolytic, mentioned by the accused but refuted by experts .

Bruno Peter “killed” Christine Bailly and “prepared everything”, admitted his counsel Me Dulucq. On Thursday, his client said he had killed his ex-partner and prepared his act but maintained that he was "not decided" to commit the crime when he arrived at her house, on the grounds of recovering a barbecue: according to him, he allegedly “disrupted” during a conversation that went wrong.

“He oscillated between I want her to die and I don’t want her to die. And he was surprised to have done it,” according to the lawyer.

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