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Flat tires, death threats and gunshots: up to four years in prison after tensions between travelers in Puy-de-Dôme

“A drunken fight” between two men belonging to two sedentary families of travellers, dating back to October or November 2006: this is where a very banal story begins, not to say insignificant, but which will know , in 2016, an ultra-violent rebound.

Police operation in a camp for travelers in Clermont-Ferrand

Following the famous fight, one of the families, the Prud’hommes, decides that the other, all generations combined, will never again have the right to set foot in the Puy-de-Dôme department. This incredible ukase will finally be broken, ten years later, by one of the young members of the “banished” family, then 21 years old.

Upholsterer-decorator, he exhibited his work on March 9, 2016, in the Nacarat gallery, at the Géant Casino du Brézet, in Clermont-Ferrand. Three of his “rivals” from the Prud’homme family quickly learn of his “illicit” presence on what they consider to be their territory. They then decide, around 3 p.m., in retaliation, to puncture one of the tires of his Fiat Ducato and to degrade two others with a punch, in the parking lot of the supermarket.

Threats with guns on the highway

The young man, who has formally identified his attackers, will manage, at the end of the afternoon, to take back his utility vehicle and head towards Pont-du-Château. As he drives on the A711 motorway, he is overtaken by a Peugeot 208 in which the three men seen the same afternoon in the parking lot of the supermarket have taken place. Once at his height, the three individuals, gesticulating and vociferating, threaten him brandishing a handgun, a baseball bat and a pruning hook. He will manage to escape them by rushing into the exit road leading to Pont-du-Château. He will file a complaint shortly after with the gendarmerie. But he is still far from having finished with “the family…”.

“I am a competitor, not a street brawler. I had no intention of confronting them and losing my life”.

the victim (Professional boxer)

On March 21, he thus received on his professional mobile phone about thirty calls threatening him with death, emanating from his self-proclaimed enemies. One of his correspondents warns him in particular that he will [lui] chop off the head with a hatchet”.

Third and final episode, March 30. By far the most violent. When he had just left Courpière at the wheel of his Fiat Ducato to go to a client, in Lezoux, he was overtaken by a Peugeot 208 which he unfortunately knew well. This time, its three occupants – the same as those who had brandished weapons on the A711 a few weeks earlier – fired three times at the victim’s vehicle, which was hit by several buckshot impacts, before fleeing.

“Do not give to force a premium that the law cannot concede to it”.

my simon cohen (Lawyer for the civil party with Me Mohamed Khanifar, addressing the court)

“All of this happened in a few seconds, but I had the impression that it lasted for hours”, recalled, this Thursday, the young craftsman at the helm of the criminal court, in front of which he must have felt good. only.

None of the five defendants showed up for the hearing.

Because none of the five members of the Prud’homme family (aged 28 to 68) referred, in various capacities, to this court, following the various facts of March 2016, was present.

An absence that the two lawyers for the civil party, Mes Mohamed Khanifar and Simon Cohen (from the Toulouse bar) deeply regretted. “This hearing could perhaps have made it possible to burst the abscess. Unfortunately, this will not be the case! “, noted the first.

“The fact that they are not there shows that they want to continue to behave as combatants and not as citizens. They knowingly decided not to appear at the bar”, continued the second, before the public prosecutor, Emmanuelle Cano, noted that “the time elapsed since the facts in no way erases their gravity”. She requested sentences ranging from four months suspended to four years firm, with arrest warrants.

“Is this famous ‘drunken brawl’, ten years old at the time of the events, a very credible motive for explaining what really happened? “.

mr jean-francois canis (Defence lawyer)

In defense, Me Jean-François Canis did not have the same reading of the file. “Today the tensions are gone and things have calmed down, whatever the rumors circulating within this community may say. He then wondered about “the real reasons for this dispute between these two families, on which we may not have been told everything, especially on the side of the civil party”.

Four years in prison and arrest warrants
for two of the defendants

Georges and Michel Prud’homme were sentenced to four years in prison, with arrest warrants. David Prud’homme was sentenced to thirty months in prison, a sentence again accompanied by the issuance of an arrest warrant. The other two members of the family were given an eighteen-month suspended sentence, for one, and 120 day-fines at 10 euros, for the other. They will also have to pay a total of 7,685 euros in damages to the civil party.

Finally, the four defendants sentenced to prison terms were banned from going to the Tarn department for five years, where the victim and several members of his family now reside.

Christian Lefevre

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