Four Men Given Long Prison Sentences After Brutal Attack That Left Victim With Severe Permanent Disabilities
The four men are all aged between 19 and 24, and received prison sentences ranging from 6-18 years. The 22-year-old victim can barely speak, and will remain confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Photo credit: Freepik / For illustrative purposes.
Brno, Jul 21 (BD) – On Monday, judges at the Brno Regional Court sentenced four young men to long prison terms, after they were convicted of the brutal assault of another young man last February. The victim was left permanently wheelchair-bound by the attack.
On a charge of attempted murder, the court sent Marek Vejpustek to prison for 18 years, Patrik Ihm for ten years, Duc Anh Tran for nine years, and Vojtěch Hlavačka for six years. According to police, the group lured the 22-year-old victim, their acquaintance, to a park in Zabovresky, where they beat him with baseball bats. They then forcibly gave him ecstasy, covered his head with a plastic bag, and drove him with serious injuries to a forest near Bilovice nad Svitavou.
In the forest, the victim was again beaten and kicked, and given more ecstasy, before the perpetrators stole CZK 140,000 from him and left him for dead in the forest. According to experts, the victim’s injuries included brain contusions and bleeding, internal bleeding, and various others.
“It must have been clear to them that in the condition in which they left the victim in the forest, and taking into account the winter weather, his life was in immediate danger,” said Judge Aleš Novotný. Luckily, before losing consciousness, the victim was able to send an SMS to friends, who found him in the forest a short time later.
Almost 18 months later, the victim is still severely disabled from the injuries he sustained during the attack. As the court heard during the trial: “His damage is permanent, and he will remain confined to a wheelchair. He can move only partially, using his left hand, and he has lost the ability to speak, only barely able to answer yes or no.”
During sentencing, public prosecutor Petr Bejšovec emphasised that the attack was premeditated, as shown in evidence taken from their mobile phones. The court also saw other communications from after the attack, in which one of them wrote that their plan was so successful that it should be celebrated in one of Brno’s most expensive restaurants, with prostitutes and cocaine.
The perpetrators did not deny their crimes, but sought to minimise their culpability by blaming each other, via their lawyers. According to the evidence submitted by the defence lawyers, Vejpustek was judged to have played the main role in the attack, with the most serious consequences.
On the contrary, Duc Anh Tran’s defence was that he had only served as a driver. However, prosecution lawyers and expert witnesses argued that it must have been clear to him what the consequences of the attack could be, and that the man he was driving out of Brno with a plastic bag on his head may die.
“This is irreversible damage to a young person’s health, his exclusion from life. It is an incomprehensibly brutal attack,” added Novotný in closing statements.