The basics A 19-year-old young man was sentenced to one year in prison by the criminal court in Toulouse on Tuesday for setting fire to a stash of narcotics in the garbage chute of a building in the Reynerie district last Saturday.
He lit a supply of herbal cannabis to avoid getting caught. “We have concrete facts,” said Nicole Bergougnan, President of this hearing at the Toulouse Criminal Court. In front of her is a young man with shoulder-length, wavy hair, a childlike face and a mischievous look.
This defendant, who has just turned 19, appears almost surprised to be in the courtroom ready to deliver a verdict.
He was tried this Tuesday on puzzling facts. Police were alerted last Saturday at the end of the day about a fire on the 11th Louis Auriacombe path in the Reynerie district of Toulouse. Thick black smoke escapes from a closed rubbish chute on the ground floor of Hall 11, a strong smell of herbal cannabis mixes with the smoke.
“I don’t know what they would have done to me”
While the residents of this building are being evacuated by agents from GITeS (the group for peace and security between districts created by several social landlords in Toulouse), a team hears a voice calling for help downstairs in this garbage room. It is about the defendant, who is short of breath, who is hiding in this place. The young man is evacuated and arrested by the police and taken into police custody. On site, the police found 300 g of partially charred cannabis capsules. “I burned the bag because otherwise the adults would come to me, I don’t know what they would have done to me,” this young man tries to explain with the appearance of a teenager and with fragile arguments.
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Behind the plexiglass he stays calm, listens without giving up the facts that are accused of him. Yet this almost exemplary attitude was not observed during his police custody. “You will throw away the food you get, break the surveillance camera in your cell and when asked to clean up, you will reply that there is a cleaning lady for it,” said the hospital president. Listen.
In spite of the lack of a criminal record, the prosecution will ask for an “exemplary judgment” related to the fact that this very young adult chose to burn narcotics, regardless of the risks taken by the residents of the building. As a result, the prosecutor requested a 12-month sentence. “It is a heavy sentence for a person who lives with their parents and has a degree in cooking,” said his lawyer.
After a brief consideration, the verdict is reached. The requirements are met and the 19-year-old young man is returned to prison for twelve months. As if to challenge the judge, he stares at her as the verdict is pronounced before rushing to the back room where the police take him over before he takes him to jail.