In a recent case at the Monaco Criminal Court an ex-couple came to violent blows after a night at la Rascasse. The defendant was sentenced to a fine of 1,000 euros with a suspended sentence for attempting to strangle his ex-girlfriend. According to him, she would not accept the breakup. So who is the victim?
A Monegasque man, approximately 30 years of age, was summoned this week before the criminal court to answer for acts of intentional violence committed against his ex-girlfriend on 29 May. The couple had been separated for eighteen months, and that evening was intended to repair the relationship. She, an American, and he, restaurateur in Monaco, met in La Rascasse with friends. But a dispute broke out. From reproaches and insults, it quickly escalated to physical violence. She slapped him. The security of the establishment calmly kicked them out. On the stairs leading to Boulevard Albert I, another blow: she grabbed his glasses and broke them.
“She doesn’t want to let me go”
A few meters away, at about two a.m., the man slammed the young woman against the wall of the fire station on the avenue du Port. He threatened her and began to strangle her.
The altercation caused such a noise in the neighbourhood that passers-by, alarmed by the cries of the victim, approached the couple. The aggressor released his grip on her throat. In sobs, she took refuge in the station and called Security. He waited outside the door.
“Your break-up is very complicated,” said Judge Florestan Bellinzona.
“This girl is crazy,” replied the accused. -“She does not want to let me go! It was moral harassment and I was overwhelmed by the situation. I thought she understood that everything was over between us. That same evening she had been planning to spend the night with me …”
The victim admitted to having joined him “to speak with him. It’s true, I did slap him.”
“A Nightmarish Evening”
Christophe Ballerio took over from his client to describe the event as: “a nightmarish evening. She left the United States to come and live with the accused, and he strangles her! A medical certificate attests to this. This woman owes her life to the passers-by. People try to cast the shame on the victim! Ten text messages sent in six months: is this sufficient evidence of harassment? Today, my client is being monitored psychiatrically. We claim € 5,000 in damages”.
Such tumultuous love affairs often go through cycles of on-again, off-again, all against a backdrop of passion and possessiveness. In light of this, Senior Counsel Olivier Zamphiroff does not overlook the emotional state of those involved. “It is a fact that when young couples break up, torment results, so this should be taken into account. In this case, it was a break-up that had not been accepted which led to the events in question. The appropriate sentence? I won’t speak of imprisonment. The accused should be fined 1,000 euros.”
For his part, Christophe Sosso highlights the qualities of his client. “He is extremely peaceful, gentle, mature and responsible. He has never had a bad attitude. He broke up with her. She never accepted it. And still less so now that he has another partner. So, after leaving La Rascasse, she followed him to try to find a solution to their problem. In front of the police, this man recognised his actions were excessive. He regrets it! Both must stop living in the past. But be lenient. It would be preferable for the civil party to claim a symbolic amount.” The court will follow the requisitions of the Public Prosecutor and will allocate € 1,000 to the complainant.
When the heart is involved, complication ensues, as this ex-couple has shown in this recent case at the Monaco Criminal Court.