During the second weekend in April three women were attacked by a man armed with a knife while they were out in the park. The first victim, a 25-year-old woman was robbed of her mobile phone and was then stabbed on Saturday 9 April. She was seriously injured in the assault and required hospital treatment after the assault.
Later that day the knife man threatened a second woman. He demanded her mobile phone and tried to stab her. However, the woman was too quick for him and she was able to dodge his attempts to stab her. A friend of the woman intervened, and she was punched several times by the man. Nevertheless, she was eventually successful in driving him away.
Not long after the second incident a suspect was detained. The 19-year-old has been remained in custody ever since.
The man appeared before magistrates on Friday at a hearing designed to decide whether or not he should be sent to a secure mental health facility. The magistrates decided that he should be sectioned. This means that he will not have to stand trial. Sending someone to a secure mental health facility is not a punishment, but rather a means of protecting society.
Although the suspect has a right to the correct medical care to help address his mental health issues and in theory at least should be sent to a secure psychiatric hospital, a shortage of places means that one in six people that have been sectioned in Belgium end up being detained in a prison.