French court sentences man to 18 years in prison for murder of 15-year-old girlfriend

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Shaina

10th June 2023 – (Paris) A French court has sentenced a man to 18 years in prison for the brutal murder of his 15-year-old girlfriend, identified only as Shaina, in 2019. The killing, which involved stabbing and burning alive the secondary school pupil, took place in a shed in the town of Creil, north of Paris. The case has raised concerns in France over the number of women who die at the hands of intimate partners, with official figures indicating that a woman is murdered by her partner or former partner every three days in the country.

The accused, who was a 17-year-old high school student at the time of the crime, had lured Shaina to the shed to kill her and burn her body. A post-mortem forensic examination revealed multiple knife wounds inflicted on the victim, but also that she was still breathing at the start of the fire. The prosecutor described the crime as premeditated at every stage and had sought a tougher sentence of 20 or 30 years, but the court took the accused’s status as a minor into consideration.

The verdict has sparked a mixed reaction, with Shaina’s brother, Yasin, breaking down in tears and shouting angrily at the special juvenile court in Oise. The accused, who cannot be identified due to restrictions, has maintained his innocence and expressed his disbelief at the verdict. The defence lawyer has not yet commented on the possibility of an appeal.

Shaina’s murder was particularly shocking due to her young age and because two years earlier, she had been a victim of sexual assault. Four other young people were given suspended sentences ranging from six months to two years in prison for the assault. Graphic images of the assault had been posted online with the aim of portraying Shaina as a person “who they can sleep with but also get rid of,” according to lawyers. At the time of her murder, Shaina was likely in the early stages of pregnancy, having recently discovered she was pregnant by the accused with whom she had a relationship.