Christophe Licoppe

Crèche killer De Gelder to be sent to an “Institution for the Protection of society”

The man convicted of killing two young children and a nursery nurse, Kim De Gelder is to be transferred to an Institution for the Protection of Society (IBM). As well as the killings that took place during a stabbing frenzy at the Fabeltjesland crèche in Dendermonde (East Flanders) on 23 January 2009, he was also found guilty of the murder of an elderly woman a week earlier in the East Flemish village of Vrasene.  

At his trial in 2013 Kim De Gelder was given a life sentence for four counts of murder at 25 counts of attempted murder. Although five psychiatrists had found him to be criminally insane, the jury at the trial decided this was not the case and he was sent to prison rather than being sent for an indefinite period to a secure psychiatric unit.

However, now more than 10 years after he was first sent there, the Chamber for the Protection of Society has ruled that Kim De Gelder should be transferred from prison to an Institution for the Protection of Society. The decision follows an earlier ruling by the Chamber that Kim De Gelder is currently criminally insane. Experts that observed him over a period of months concluded that Kim De Gelder is currently legally insane.

The management of the prison in which he is currently been held also complained about his aggressive and threatening behaviour. Kim De Gelder will now be transferred to an Institution for the Protection of Society, a psychiatric wing of a prison. This will either be at Turnhout or Merksplas (Antwerp province). The transfer will take place as soon as the Governor of Ghent Prison, where Kim De Gelder is currently being held, learns where there is a place.

This means that Kim De Gelder will not be sent to one of the modern high security forensic psychiatric centres that were first set up a few years ago. These centres concentrate on treatment. However, the court ruled that Kim De Gelder is currently untreatable and he has refused treatment for his schizophrenia.