In May 2017, two fishermen rescued a woman hanging from a boat dinghy in the cold waters of the Gulf of Morbihan. She had been thrown into the sea by her companion who, assisting in the rescue, had asked the two men not to help the victim. This Thursday, January 6, he was sentenced to eighteen months in prison, six of which are closed.
Now 44 years old, the defendant appeared before the Vannes criminal court for domestic violence. The victim was not present since she died in August 2019, at the age of 48. During the hearing, recounted by the Telegram, the abusive partner described a toxic relationship plagued by excessive alcohol consumption.
At the time, the two protagonists had been in a relationship for eighteen months and lived in a rather marginal way, on a sailboat. On May 16, 2017, their boat was anchored in Ile-aux-Moines when an argument broke out. The defendant says he surprised his companion, described as unstable, who threw some of his personal effects and navigation equipment overboard.
While diving to try to retrieve these objects, the victim had started the engine of the sailboat to escape. Recognizing to have “gone wild”, this forty-something had managed to get back on the boat and threw his companion into the water. Both had been arrested a few hours after the intervention of the two fishermen. The woman and the man had a blood alcohol level of 1.35 g and 0.48 g of alcohol per liter of blood, respectively.
medical expertise confirms the blows
At the helm, the defendant tried to justify the marks on the body of his companion by “a boom” (rigid bar at the bottom of the mast of a boat on which the lower part of the mainsail is fixed, editor’s note) received during a tack.
A version contradicted by the testimony of the victim and the medical expertises having underlined recent bruises on the arms, multiple bruises, cervical sprains and cuts in the neck. Already convicted of domestic violence during a previous relationship, the defendant had also assaulted the victim during an altercation on the Ile d’Arz in 2016. At that time, his partner brandished a knife to defend herself.
If alcohol was identified as “the trigger” by the prosecutor, Sylvain Darchy nevertheless considered that “the medical expertise and the testimonies of the two rescuers leave no doubt about the violence of the accused”. The latter was authorized to serve his firm sentence under an electronic bracelet, his sentence is accompanied by a suspension of twelve months.