Assailants detained after they film themselves beating up a 29-year-old mentally handicapped man

Two people have been arrested for beating up a 29-year-old man, who has a mental handicap in the East Flemish town of Zottegem. The East Flemish Judicial Authorities say that the victim was lured to Zottegem last Thursday by two so-called friends. They had told him that he would be given money and a mobile phone. However, once he was there, he was subjected to a beating so severe that he ended up in hospital with a blood clot on his brain.

The 29-year-old victim is from Evergem (East Flanders), but for the past three years has been living in sheltered accommodation in Sint-Kruis-Winkel, near Ghent. The man has the mental age of a child of 6 and is very gullible.

Where last Thursday (30 March) he received a message from a so-called friend from Zottegem the message turned out to be a brutal hoax designed to lure him to a beating. Rather than receiving a mobile phone and 10 euro as promised in the message the man was punched and kicked.

Video footage shot by the assailants themselves shows the severity of the assault. When the victim tried to make his escape towards the station he was once again punched and kicked in the head until he was unconscious. Once he was in hospital doctors found that he had a blood clot on his brain.

Two suspects, both male, have been detained. They are aged 23 and 57. Both have been questioned and formally arrested. Magistrates have decided that the will remain in custody.

The victim's sister has asked the news media to show the images. We must warn you that they are of a disturbing nature.

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