THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch court convicted a man Friday of killing two people at an activity farm for people with mental and psychological disabilities and earlier fatally shot a man to test his weapon. He was sentenced to life in prison for the murders and two attempted murders.

The defendant, identified only as John S. under Dutch privacy regulations, fatally shot a female worker and a 16-year-old girl at the Alblasserdam farm near the port city of Rotterdam on May 6, 2022. He shot and seriously injured two other people at the farm.

Once, the man had been kicked off the farm after having a relationship with a person there. He was also convicted of threatening the person, who was not identified by the court.

Two days earlier, he fatally shot a man at a shoe repair shop in the nearby town of Vlissingen to test the Glock pistol he had purchased, prosecutors said.

“Violence and cold blood are terrifying,” the Rotterdam District Court said in a written verdict. “With these appalling and senseless acts, the suspect inflicted colossal suffering on many.”

Life sentences are rare in the Netherlands, where the sentence means that a convicted person must spend the rest of their life behind bars. But the court said that “given the seriousness of the facts and the circumstances,” it was the only appropriate sentence.

Prosecutors had sought a 30-year sentence and mandatory psychiatric treatment for the suspect, who called police after the shooting and confessed to the crimes.

The farm is a refuge for young people and adults, mostly with disabilities or mental illness. It is also a refuge for teenagers and adults who are trying to get back on their feet, according to its website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *