Wouter* (46) has a pale doll face and hairline at least 2cm higher than you would expect. As if he didn’t put his wig on properly. Although he constantly moves his fingers and fidgets, he makes a relaxed impression. With a thirteen-sided criminal record, he is experienced in court.
This time there are two types of criminal offenses in the program: theft from the Hema store and theft of the Bata-Vos men’s bike. The judge starts with the first. Leaving the shop, Wouter was stopped by a security guard with a gym bag full of stolen gym clothes and a stolen umbrella. Total value: 113 euros.
“Yes, I think that’s a strange story,” begins the babbler Wouter. “I just came there for a simple sweatpant, you know. I wanted to do some sports. I had just signed up for the gym. Fitness, you know. And I was doing really well. Full motivation and everything. So I just wanted to do sports, but then I found out my sweatpants were in the wash, you know. And I looked, but this thing was really, really dirty. That wasn’t really possible. So I guess: It doesn’t matter, I’ll bypass Hema on my way to the gym, You know. Just get some pants. Yeah right? Because you might think: My pants are dirty, and then you stop, but I’m not. Before you knew you’d be back on the couch watching TV, you know. I don’t want to. Like I said, I was excited, like You know, so I think: I’ll get some new pants, you know…”
“Please come to the point, sir,” the judge suggested.
“Yes, sure, sure,” Water clattered happily. “So I go to Hema to put on my gym shorts. I figure I don’t have enough money at all, you know. I’m standing there… with New Year’s resolutions and everything. Because I really wanted to work out, you know, yeah, and then I put That’s a bum in my bag. Stupid of course, but yeah, like I said, I was doing really well with that sport, so yeah…”
“What about the rest?” asks the judge. “Because there was more in that bag than just those gym shorts. Four pairs of gym socks, some T-shirts…”
“That’s the weird thing,” says Wouter. “That bag was totally full. The road is so full. I mean, I still have to ride a bike with that bag too, it didn’t help at all with this full bag. And I didn’t need those things at all, you know. I just need to” Pants, so how did all this stuff end up in that bag, I don’t really know. I probably thought…”
“And that umbrella?” The judge interrupted him.
“That umbrella was mine. I’m pretty sure. Because I remember very well I left the house and it was raining. So I thought: I’ll bring an umbrella, you know. That’s not always useful on a bike, especially if you also have a gym bag with you, but then once in a while.” Others, I didn’t feel like getting soaked in the rain, you know. Then you get to the gym, soaked and everything, and then you have to go…”
The judge told him, “She was carrying a Hema card.”
“Yeah, I think that’s weird too. I might have once bought that umbrella at Hema or something like that, you know,” Wouter does his best to unravel the mystery he created himself. “And that I left that card hanging on it or something. Something like that might be possible, you know. Otherwise I wouldn’t really know…”
He also denies stealing a men’s bike from a nearby park in all the tones and at least as many words he needs to describe his visit to Hema. The fact remains that camera images show how he got into the park in question that night, and that the stolen bike was found with him the next day.
Wouter can speak like Brugman – and he does – but it doesn’t help. The judge considers all established facts, in part due to his criminal record, and imposes a sentence of 24 days in prison, of which 14 days are conditional.
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