The confused Jan Willem (41) from Tilburg squeezed the throat of his neighbor Robin Schoonus in June. He almost lost consciousness and feared for his life. “If my other neighbor and my girlfriend hadn’t intervened, I don’t know if I would have made it,” the victim said in court in Breda on Tuesday. Justice demanded TBS with compulsory treatment against the suspect, who confessed. According to the victim, everything could have been prevented if the suspect had received help in time.
Robin Schoonus and the suspect were good neighbors until that moment in their apartment building on Mascagnistraat in Tilburg. Robin knew that his neighbor has mental problems. “He can suddenly go crazy and I have also been in contact with the local police officer and housing corporation WonenBreburg about this, but he did not get the help he needs,” he said at the time.
“It became black before my eyes.”
On June 4th things went completely wrong. Jan Willem was at Robin’s door with a pickaxe, because he thought his son was there, but he is in a youth institution in Terheijden. In his anger, the suspect smashed a window. When Robin told his neighbor about this, things got completely out of hand.
Jan Willem tells about this in court: “It became black before my eyes and I grabbed him by the throat.” According to the public prosecutor, it has not been proven that he also used a knife.
Robin’s throat was constricted so much that his eyes literally went black. Although Robin’s girlfriend bit the mad neighbor, she couldn’t get him off her boyfriend. Only when another neighbor came to the rescue did the victim breathe again.
“I’ll get it and I’ll destroy it.”
An arrest team arrested the neighbor a short time later. In the cell complex he told officers: “I’ll get it and I’ll destroy it.” In court, the suspect tries to explain: “I was so angry. I can’t remember, but I can imagine that I said this.”
Jan Willem was examined by a psychologist and a psychiatrist, who concluded that he has many psychological problems. They diagnose him with borderline, PTSD, ADHD and a form of schizophrenia, and the man is also mentally retarded and antisocial.
“This would not have been necessary, but I am now traumatized.”
The public prosecutor considers the attack on Robin an attempted manslaughter, but considers the suspect completely insane. That is why she demands TBS with compulsory treatment. “That seems best to me,” says Robin. “Only all this would not have been necessary if he had received help in time. I am now traumatized.”
Jan Willem now also knows that he needs help for his anger outbursts and delusions. “In the cell I was forcibly given medication. I was very angry about that, but it helped. In the conversations with the psychologist and psychiatrist, I recognized a lot of my problems.” He also apologizes to Robin.
“The punishment should not be too casual.”
Still, I don’t want to be forced. He sees more in guidance and, for example, an ankle bracelet. Justice and Robin also think that is unwise. “He is very suspicious of healthcare institutions, politicians and the government. So it should not be too noncommittal.”
READ ALSO: Robin attacked by confused neighbor: ‘Stood in front of the door with knife and ax’