This top of criminal news features two cases involving a fight on the eve of the Grand Prix and the driver of a Rolls Royce who had been caught drunk driving.
Violence at a restaurant on the eve of the Grand Prix
A former kitchen chef, currently unemployed, appeared before the criminal court for seriously injuring a young man with excessive force. The violent scene happened on 28 May. Traditionally, at the Hercules harbour, the eve of the F1 Grand Prix is synonymous with parties, with many people going out to the establishments along the road to the swimming pool. Around 2 o’clock, a group of young people took over the terrace of the restaurant Joseph in a euphoric state, perhaps due to the drink. One of the revellers threw a cushion and the gesture annoyed the cook who had just finished his service. The employee, a sturdy 38-year-old man, moved towards the table to find out who had done it. One of the young people did not appreciate this intervention and responded arrogantly. This haughty and contemptuous attitude was unbearable for the cook. He became mad with anger and lost his temper, and made excessive use of his physical strength on the drunken victim. He grabbed the insolent client by the neck and threw him out of the establishment in military style.
“You should not have used force in this way,” said Judge Jérôme Fougeras-Lavergnolle. “And you have a very strange way of getting the victim to leave. Besides, when we look at the photos, we can see the violence of your behaviour.”
At the outset the accused admitted that he had lost control: “I was upset. But my only goal was to get this troublemaker out of the establishment so that the evening would not be spoiled.” The magistrate asked: “Why didn’t you then ask security guard to intervene? That is his role.” The response, referring to the evening dedicated to the Formula I celebration, was unbelievable: “There was none available at that moment…” Clyde Billaud, whose first plea was made, asked for reparations on behalf of the civil party: “The injuries are serious. We have calculated the damages at the sum of 3,000 euros. In his submissions, prosecutor Cyrielle Colle also stated that the behaviour of the accused was not appropriate for the eve of the Grand Prix, although, certainly there is a lot of excitement and disturbance when the crowd comes to the Principality to participate in the celebrations of human feats in racing. A fine with suspended sentence will be required.”
The court handed down: a 500 € fine and 500 € for the victim.
Drunk at the wheel of his Rolls Royce
The blood alcohol level of a drunk driver will never be known. He has appeared before the criminal court, handcuffed, after multiplying the offenses of his Rolls-Royce on the Principality’s tracks. Unaware of the seriousness of his behaviour during his custody, the accused was more conciliatory before the judges and less insolent than at the time of his arrest. He was nevertheless sentenced to one month in prison and four fines of € 45 each. Returning to the facts that occurred on 18th February, that night, around 4 o’clock, the concierge of the Palais Heracles, near the port of Hercules, alerted the public security. He had just seen a Rolls Royce pass at high speed in front of the building. Immediately, the policemen checked the video surveillance.
On their screens, they quickly spotted the vehicle at the Yacht Club, coming from the Portier, instead of logically joining the road to the Pool, the luxury car went straight to the Place Sainte-Dévote and suddenly turned left, in the wrong direction, onto Boulevard Albert-l. At the junction with Suffren-Reymond Street, the driver turned around and drove down the bus lane to return to Larvotto.
At the Portier roundabout, he stopped his car in front of Twiga and telephoned. He was then joined by another vehicle. The accused approached the second driver. Somehow, he pulled him out of his car and pushed him to sit in the seat of his Rolls Royce. At that moment, the police arrived. They carried out the usual checks. The driver, a Russian in his thirties, was drunk. He refused everything: to blow into the breathalyser, to sign the protocols, to have his blood taken. Plus, he acted arrogantly!
In the public security offices, the Russian tried to persuade the investigators that he was not the driver of the vehicle in question. Among other insinuations, he said he had had a drink a few seconds before the agents arrived. This manager recovered the following day and finally acknowledged being guilty of the offenses charged.
At the hearing, Judge Jérôme Fougeras-Lavergnolle was surprised to hear the accused state that he was not the owner of the Rolls Royce Ghost. Was it borrowed? “It belongs to a friend,” said the accused. “As he walked away from the establishment, I started looking for him.” “And the turn?” continued the magistrate. “It was because of the alcohol and the fact that I do not know Monaco well.” Why all these refusals? “I did not quite understand the requests of the agents because of my limited knowledge of French. In such a case, it is dangerous to sign any document, especially in Russia…” Last point raised by the Judge: “You wanted to avoid your responsibilities by putting your friend in the driver’s seat?” The response was no: “I wanted only to put him in the back.” For his part, the prosecutor Cyrielle Colle got carried away. “This person is a danger! Such a crime must be sanctioned by a fixed month and fines.” This was not enough to destabilise the defence! Raphaëlle Svara requested “the clemency of the court because all the denials shows the impossibility of my client to communicate with mastery of our language”. The court preferred to follow the requisitions of the public prosecutor.