The Vaatstra case
On 11 February 2015 the Court of Noord-Nederland awarded to Bauke Vaatstra damages in the amount of € 40,000 because of the nervous shock suffered when he was confronted with his daughter Marianne’s lifeless and mutilated body on 1 May 1999. The killer, too, has been ordered to pay interest at the statutory rate effective from 1 May 1999 as well as the procedural costs.
The judgment shows that the Court has disregarded all the defences raised by the killer. The Court felt that the confrontation with the horrifying consequences of the rape and murder was decisive in the problems Mr Vaatstra experienced. The Court concurred with the conclusions of the psychiatric expert engaged by Mr Vaatstra, and held there were no circumstances that could be imputed to the victim, as the killer had claimed.
Marianne Vaatstra’s father found the lifeless body of his 16-year old daughter in a field on 1 May 1999. She had been raped and then killed.
This atrocious crime caused a great deal of controversy. It was not until 18 November 2012 when the killer could be identified owing to a large-scale judicial DNA testing. On 19 April 2013 he was sentenced to 18 years in prison. The Court held that Marianne’s surviving relatives should start separate civil law proceedings if they seek compensation.
Beer advocaten represents Marianne Vaatstra’s father in civil proceedings that were filed with the Leeuwarden Court in November 2013. Before the proceedings the killer’s farm was seized and a claim filed for damages. These damages mainly concern the emotional damage suffered by Marianne Vaatstra’s father when facing his daughter’s mutilated body. Also considered will be the emotional damage suffered by the Marianne’s relatives because of the long period (13.5 years) during which they were kept in the dark about the circumstances of her death. All that time the identity of the killer was not known.