Again prison sentences in Nieuwenhuizen case

The suspects of the death of Dutch linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen were again given prison sentences. The father of of the kids got six years inprisonment. During this second tril the father and five kids were found guilty of manslaughter. During the first Nieuwenhuizen trial seven were. The seventh person is now found guilty of violence in public. That is the verdict of the court earlier this Thursday.

symbol-39982_640A few suspects said they want to step to the Court of Appeal, the last option to appeal against the verdict of the judges.

After the trial the judges said there was “an explosion of violence” during the incident one year ago. Linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen got kicked and died one day later in the hospital.

The Nieuwenhuizen family responded after the trial: “We are satisfied, not happy”, says Nieuwenhuizen’s son Alain to the Dutch press agency ANP. “We can go further now. (…) We don’t have to see them (the perpetrators) face to face anymore.”

7 suspects guilty of manslaughter on linesman Nieuwenhuizen

7 suspects guilty of manslaughter on linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen. The father is punished with 6 years imprisonment. Six minors all got the maximum penalty possible in juvenile justice for their age. One who was 15-years-old during the incident got a jail sentence of 10 months The others all got 1,5 years jailtime.

The judges agree with the Dutch forensics that Nieuwenhuizen died in December due too violence against him. The lawyers of the kids tried to convince the judges that the linesman could have died due to a weakness in his veins. According to the court that theory is not proven.

An eight suspect was sentenced with 17 days jailtime for violence against the linesman and the goalie of the opponents.

The wife of the linesman said after the trial to Telegraaf, a Dutch newspaper: “This is the maximum possible sentence and we are happy with it. But no sentence would be sufficient.” She finds it ‘disrespectful that only 3 of the 8 suspects came to court to hear the verdict.

Son Mykel Nieuwenhuizen, who was a player during the match with the fatal incident, hopes this trial would make a statement to others. “I hope it’s over now with violence on football pithes.”

Read back the blog about court days two weeks ago in the Nieuwenhuizen trial.

UPDATE: Lawyers of most of the suspects appealed to the verdict. On 13th of August 2013 the new trial will start. First day would be a “pre-trial” where the judge will only mention how the process will go and when witnesses or experts will be heard.

Dead Dutch linesman trial: suspects speak in court

The dead Dutch linesman trial started today in court. Suspects could speak in court today. Some did, but their stories didn’t always match.

Still from the Respect for Richard campaign which was held by refereeing blogs around the world.

Still from the Respect for Richard campaign which was held by refereeing blogs around the world.

The situation

Back to the 2nd of December 2012. Youth teams of Buitenboys and Nieuw Sloten were competing with each other. Richard Nieuwenhuizen was a linesman of the home team – in the Dutch system most teams have their own (non-neutral) assistant referee. Just a few minutes before the end Nieuw Sloten scored the 2:2 equaliser. The goal scorer walked by the assistant referee and said to him the AR should ‘keep up with him’ when he ran to the goal. “He was biased and very stern that match”, one of the suspects says during court day 1. My source is the liveblog of, Dutch biggest news website.

Right after the last whistle from the referee, the teams ended up in a fight for about a minute. Nieuwenhuizen has scolded at the players from Nieuw Sloten, is what one of the players (a suspect) says in court. A few hours after the match Nieuwenhuizen becomes unwell. He died one day later in the hospital.

Read previous blog with full story about the Nieuwenhuizen incident and things that followed in past months.

The suspects

Dead Dutch linesman trial (day 1)

Below you can find the most important things about the first day in court.

  • District attorny says that Nieuwenhuizen ” very likely” died due to violence and kicks against head and neck.
  • Earlier this week a US expert says Nieuwenhuizen died due to a tear that spontaneously appeared in the neck artery
  • Dutch forensics said that it is “very unlikely” that the linesman died due to a weakness in his veins.
  • According to Belgian neuro surgeon and professor Emile Beuls the defence is using the findings of the US expert only to create doubts about the cause of death
  • Suspects say Nieuwenhuizen was scolding at them. One of the lawyers ealier said that Nieuwenhuizen was provoking the Nieuwe Sloten players. “He said: ‘Hit me, one hit is enough’.”
  • Some suspects admit kicking Nieuwenhuizen on his shoulder once, but they were mostly blaming each other.
  • One of the suspects was supposed to have said that he would be screwed if there was video footage of the incident. Today during the trial he denied this.
  • The father said he only wants to calm down the players

Other facts about the trial

  • 41 witnesses were heard
  • One lawyer wants transcripts of the police interrogations on paper. Costs: 1,60 euro per minute for typing out what has been said.
  • The trial will take 5 days

Court day 2

Most important things from the second day in court in the case of the dead Dutch linesman:

  • The lawyer of the Nieuwenhuizen family announced in tv program ‘Knevel & Van den Brink’ that the relatives of the linesman will ask for financial compensation. How much money will he be aiming at? Material damage: 225.000 euro’s (funeral costs and because the linesman was breadwinner of the family). Immaterial (shock) damage: 25.000 euro’s per suspect.
  • The judgets tried to get clear what happened during the incident last year’s December, but suspects were not talking so much.
  • Family of Richard Nieuwenhuizen had the right to speak too. Son Jamie Nieuwenhuizen: “It was huge shock to me”, he said. “It feels like I’ve suddenly become an adult and the responsible. My role in live has changed.”
  • A declaration of son Mykel Nieuwenhuizen, who was a player during the match, was read out loud by someone else: “‘Stop it hurts”, said my dad when he was hit by the boys.” And then: “I’ve build an altar with candles on my room.” Mykel’s live changed a lot and he couldn’t do the normal things in a teenagers life. “I’ve not visited school for two months and I’m way behind. I’m not going to pass this year. My live has changed enormously.

The district attorney will make is plea tomorrow. Then we’ll hear what sentence he’s asking for the suspects.

Day 3 in court

Dutch professor in International Criminal Law and lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops thinks it’s possible that the suspects in the Richard Nieuwenhuizen case won’t be punished. “The criminal law has its limitations”, he says to “There’s no collective liability (in The Netherlands, jth). Everybody’s guilt should be individually determined by the court. I think acquittal is possible in this case if it’s not clear who did what.”

Most important things from the third day in court were the sentences demanded:

  • Public prosecutor demands a prison sentence of six years for the father of one of the kids.
  • The teenagers will be sentenced by juvenile justice. The public prosecutor asks for a 1,5 year youth detention for 4 16-year-olds and one 17-year-old with two year probation. For a 15-year-old 10 months jail. All for manslaughter.
  • DThe sentence demanded for another 15-year-old suspect is 17 days for kicking the goalie of the oponents (violence in public).
  • Hij heeft tegen de vier 16-jarige en een 17-jarige verdachte 24 maanden jeugddetentie, waarvan 6 maanden voorwaardelijk met een proeftijd van twee jaar geëist

Richard Nieuwenhuizen memorial match

During a memorial match in honour of killed linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen about 55 thousand euro’s were collected for the family of the killed linesman.

Many companies and people helped voluntarily to organise a charity match between Buitenboys, Nieuwenhuizen’s club, and former Dutch internationals. “It was a fantastic evening”, says the club in a statement afterwards. Former internationals Ronald de Boer, Edwin van der Sar, Dennis Bergkamp, Ronald Koeman en Ruud van Nistelrooij were present.

Richard Nieuwenhuizen memorial match
The start of the match was special: former Manchester United goalie Edwin van der and Nieuwenhuizen’s son Mykal entered the pitch as captains. Right before the match players of both teams and the referees were carrying a banner with the text “door voetbal verenigd” (united by football, jan) before the start of the match.

Nieuwenhuizen was linesman during his son’s match and afterwards he was beaten up by players from Nieuw Sloten. He died one day later in the hospital. Read more about the Nieuwenhuizen incident in a previous blog story on

There are eight suspects, one father and seven kids, in the Nieuwenhuizen case and they have to appear in court on 29, 30 and 31 May and 1st and 3rd of June.

Still from the Respect for Richard campaign which was held by refereeing blogs around the world.

Still from the Respect for Richard campaign which was held by refereeing blogs around the world.

Referees in the media (Richard Nieuwenhuizen)

This version of Referees in the media will be different, because a Dutch linesman has died because of an attack after a football match.

You can read the full story of the incident with Nieuwenhuizen with updates on my blog.

Thanks for all your messages I got. Also thanks for your suppport in the Respect for Richard campaign. The family of the killed linesman also said they were very happy that they got so much support from all over the world.

Normally I do post all sorts of stories in this section, but today I only added quotes about the deadly incident with the Dutch linesman.

“We never had anything like this. I saw some boys attacking him; I ran over, they were kicking his head. Then I thought I had got rid of them but one ran back and stamped on his head. At least I know I did everything that I could.”

Egor van Gelden, youth team coach of Buitenboys, the club of Richard Nieuwenhuizen.

“Dear Papa, we will miss you. But let us remember, in the Netherlands senseless violence never has the last word.”

The son of Richard Nieuwenhuizen in an emotional speech before the silent march. The kid was playing in the team where his father was linesman and saw the attack from nearby.


Manslaughter case because of killed linesman Nieuwenhuizen

Three teenagers face manslaughter charges because of the death of assistant referee Richard Nieuwenhuizen. The kids have to appear in court Thursday 6th of December for the first time.

A judge will decide if the detention of the suspects will be extended. The prosecutor already announced will then officially be charged with manslaughter, assault and public violence for alleged involvement in an incident last weekend after the match between youth teams form Buitenboys and Nieuw Sloten.

In the Dutch referee system it’s common that parents or club members officiate as a linesman on almost all amateur levels. Buitenboys linesman Nieuwenhuizen was flagging his son’s match and afterwards he was beaten up by three players from Nieuw Sloten. According to a reconstruction by newspaper “de Volkskrant” the AR had no visible wounds after the incident. He watched another match and at that moment he collapsed. He was hurried to the hospital where doctors said the situation was very critical.

One day later, Nieuwenhuizen died in the Flevo hospital in Almere. His club released the following tweet. A translation: “Our linesman Richard died at 17.30 surrouned by his family. The violence on the fields need to stop!”

The night of the incident the club tried to contact the Dutch FA. Buitenboys chairman Marcel Oost told the media that they finally got someone on the line after 11pm. The person was angry at them for calling so late. On Monday the Dutch FA says on national tv it deeply regrets their first reaction. After talking with members of Buitenboys the Dutch FA cancelled all amateur matches for next weekend. Professional football players AND referees will have a minute of silence and will wear mourning arm bands.

Sunday at 17pm, a silent march will be held in Almere in remembrance of the linesman who died and it will end at his football club Buitenboys.

The club says today on Twitter it’s thankful from all the support from referees all over the world. I also got a lot of support messages from referees from all over the world. That’s why I released this tweet:

After that I got in touch with the BBC to tell something about the reactions I got about this shocking news. I also told the reporters something about refereeing and incidents in Dutch football, a subject I wrote about before. There are 25 rough incidents each weekend during amateur matches in The Netherlands. That could be violence against players and referees.

You can listen to the interview on BBC Have Your Say. The topic was discussed from 28:11 in the audio file below.

Or have a right click / save target on this link to download the episode of BBC World – Have Your Say about the shocking news of the linesman who died after an attack on a football field.

Update Thusday December 6: The three suspects of the deadly attack on the linesman will remain in prison for at least the next fourteen days. That’s what a judge has decided today.

Update Friday December 7: A fourth person has been arrested as a suspect in the deadly attack of linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen. Read the full statement from the police (in Dutch). Police officers say there will maybe arrest more teenagers. Twenty policemen are working on this case now and they’ve questions dozens of witnesses.

Update Saturday December 8:
A Dutch newspaper placed yesterday a photo of the incident with linesman Nieuwenhuizen (on ground, no shoe) on their front page.

Update Saturday December 8: Please join the #RESPECTforRichard campaign in tribute to the slain Dutch referee. Please share. Details here

We would be pleased if you share this message on Twitter or on Facebook. Thanks for your support.

Update Sunday December 9: Many people joined the silent march in #RESPECTforRichard (picture)

Update January: A judge decided that four people (16, 16, 17 and 50 years old) need to keep longer in prison. One kid of 15 was send home, so now seven persons are still in jail.

Update January 3: Bolivian assistant referee attacked too (video).

Update January 14: The team of the killed linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen played Sunday for the first time after the incident. A player right before the match: “We are very happy to return to football, but we’re still standing somewhat confused on the field.”

Update 15 January: The three kids that were arrested from the beginning will appear in court on Monday 16th of January. Geert-Iem Roos, the lawyer of one of the kids, said last week that linesman Nieuwenhuizen “was looking for a confrontation” According to him some witnesses testified that the assistant referee provokingly said: “Hit me, just once is enough.” Roos received death threats after he told this on tv. The lawyer also talked about a forensic report which says that Nieuwenhuizen was kicked due to a kick on his head. Because the situation was very chaotic, he wants a reconstruction of it. The Dutch forensic authority doesn’t want to comment on the situation.

Update end of March: One of underaged suspects in the Nieuwenhuizen case has been released from prison. Another kid was released in December. Both are still a suspect. Five kids and one of their fathers is still in jail at the moment.

The suspects will have to go to court on Wednesday 29th of May. There were some pre-sessions and from now on the lawyers and the district attorney will start their plea.