Pstalked, hunted, spied upon by imaginary tormentors, he would “get revenge on men”. The man with psychiatric disorders who was sentenced to life in the first instance, who coldly drove into a pizzeria in Seine-et-Marne in 2017, has been appearing in appeal to the assizes since Tuesday.
In a room with benches of civil parties provided for this case, which counts 48 victims, the second trial against David Patterson, 37 years old, including five in custody, opened on Tuesday morning for two weeks of hearing at the court in Créteil ( Val de Marne).
The former security guard is accused of killing a 13-year-old girl and seriously injuring twelve customers in a flash of unmotivated violence by throwing a large car at full speed onto the terrace of a restaurant in the town of Sept-Sorts. , about fifty kilometers east of Paris.
Last year he was found guilty by the Assize Court of Seine-et-Marne of murder and attempted murder, and he was then sentenced to the maximum penalty of life imprisonment with a security period of twenty-two years. A sentence that he hopes will be lightened due to his mental problems.
“At the time of the facts, I wasn’t me, and that they (initially) didn’t understand it very well, I think,” explains David Patterson, with a doughy voice, shaved head and body bloated from the drug treatments he now takes.
On August 14, 2017, while on sick leave and in the middle of smoking cessation, he was greatly disturbed by a postcard in someone else’s name, which was mistakenly dropped off at his home by the postman.
Seeing a new sign of a plot against him, he leaves his home, gets behind the wheel of the powerful BMW he has rented for a week with only one idea in mind: “to do something serious”.
Arriving at the ZAC in Sept-Sorts, he walks around the site and accelerates to give sufficient momentum to his vehicle. Smiling, calm, he then threw his BMW towards the terrace of the pizzeria where families were eating.
The shock is such that the car crosses the window and the dining room before crashing into the bar. A bloodbath.
The suspect is immediately apprehended and arrested, banging his head against the walls of the barracks, explaining to the gendarmes that he is “already dead”, pulling out his teeth.
Speaking in short but clear sentences, struggling to find his words when the questioning deviates from the questions he has prepared, David Patterson returned Tuesday to his pre-fact personality and state of mind.
“I felt followed, I thought they wanted me dearly,” said the delicate defendant from his box, unrecognizable from the period photos.
WHO? “People”, “the mafia”, “travellers”, he advanced according to the instruction.
“Now that I realized I was sick, I tell myself it was completely incoherent,” assures David Patterson, who remains in solitary confinement and has been receiving psychiatric treatment since being hospitalized for months during his detention .
At first instance, the jury had considered that the defendant’s mental problems clearly characterized a “change” in his judgment at the time of the tragedy, which could open the way for a lesser sanction compared to a litigant in full possession of his mental faculties.
However, the court had still given him the harshest sentence due to his “exceptional dangerousness”, which it said made him prone to reoffending.
“The trial will be an opportunity to discuss the criminal consequences of the accused’s chronic illness, which is now being treated,” his lawyer Me Eric Plouvier told AFP, lamenting that the legal debate relies on “fuzzy and arbitrary notions” about psychiatry .
A verdict in the trial is expected on September 9.
30/08/2022 18:24:47 – Créteil (AFP) – © 2022 AFP