The Luxembourg Assize Court on Friday sentenced Clara Maes, 89, to 10 years in prison for the murder of her old friend Suzanne Thibeau, 93, committed on January 3, 2015 in Libramont. The Advocate General had called for a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison while the defense proposed a 5-year suspended probationary sentence to allow the octogenarian to serve his sentence in the retirement home where she has lived for 2 years, with as a condition of staying there. The defense believing that it did not represent a danger. No reprieve, given the height of the sentence, is granted to the octogenarian.
The sentence was not, however, immediately carried out against Clara Maes, who appeared free. She was therefore able to leave the courthouse at the end of the hearing to return to her nursing home. It is now up to the prosecution to enforce the sentence or not.
The lifeless body of Suzanne Thibeau, bathed in her blood, was found at the home of the nonagenarian on January 3, 2015, in Libramont by a couple of friends. As the investigation progressed, suspicion fell on her old friend, Clara Maes, who had visited her again that morning as she used to do almost every day to help her with household chores. But the octogenarian had always denied any involvement in the death of the nonagenarian.
Although ultimately charged with murder in July 2015, Clara Maes has never been placed under an arrest warrant due to her old age. During her trial, she replied no “not remember“faced with arrests on elements of the file, such as the existence of testamentary provisions in her regard taken by Suzanne Thibeau. She had also replied with a simple”non“to whether she was linked to her friend’s death.
She chose not to release her conscience
The defense had pleaded acquittal. But the jury retained, to lean towards guilt, elements such as the frequent arguments between those who were friends, the presence of the DNA of the victim in the vehicle of the accused by a transfer of a rich element such as blood, the handing over to the police by Clara Maes of clothes that she had a priori during her visit to the victim on the morning of January 3 but which had in reality been washed, her knowledge of the victim’s heritage or even her lack of ‘explanation. “She chose not to release her conscience“, said Advocate General Anne-Sophie Guilmot during the debate on the sentence.”But I advance a solution of justice“.
For the representative of the prosecution, the sentence could not be less than 10 years. “Cause our society cannot tolerate murder“, she had justified.”Prison is not executable“, he supported Me Alexandre Mignon, lawyer Clara Maes with regard to the age of his client.
The court and the jury admitted extenuating circumstances such as the age of the accused or her exemplary life, including with regard to the victim.