“I wanted to call you today to wish you a merry Christmas but also death, you, your mother and all your loved ones. […] I will not miss you, I will prepare surprises for you, you will bite. I’ll ruin your life, I’ll dismantle you, and the day you die I’ll piss on your grave.
A hundred text messages and thirty voice messages sent by Stéphane Barbou to the mother of his children are worth this 47-year-old former butler to appear for free this Tuesday, April 5th. The couple, who have been separated since October 2018, are at odds over custody of their four children, aged 12, 10, 7 and 20 months respectively.
Despite the rights of visitation and accommodation to which he is entitled, Stéphane Barbou – treated for seven years for a bipolarity that in fact did not exist – does not support the separation and does not hesitate to hire detectives to follow his mate. Then since December 2019 there have been these dozens of text and voice messages, all abusive and threatening. The victim then decides to file a complaint and move with his children.“More than 500 kilometers away for fear that he [lui] pains”. That doesn’t stop Barbou, however, from making his last malicious call from last July, despite the social distancing he’s being forced into to continue his phone harassment. Other programs intended for his children are just as worrying: they are photos of the schools where they are registered, together with images of Mr Barbou’s motorcycle, leaving little doubt about his intentions.
She wants to protect her children
“I want the children to stop being afraid,” explains in front of the bar the former companion of Barbou, who testified this Tuesday, April 5th. With tears she continues: “It was the kids who asked me to move because they were scared to death. We can hide our tears from the children, the children suffer. Psychologically persecuted for three years, suffering from anxiety and depression, she remembers: “As soon as I saw his name on my phone I was shaking and I’m still shaking.”
Stéphane Barbou – who was convicted of damaging his former partner’s vehicle in 2019 – appears to be showing remorse in the face of testimony from his children’s mother “I apologize to Madame. I regret what happened. I didn’t know how to deal with the emotions I was having. I slipped, it was more than a big mistake, I got the lesson and I apologize.. And to claim: “The messages were to see the children again.” suffer from “mood disorders”but also from an alcohol addiction (from which he now claims to be weaned), Stéphane Barbou also recalls the many violences he himself endured as a child.
“Finally” an apology
“I am delighted to finally hear Mr Barbou’s apology‘ greeted Me Charlotte de Boislaville, the civil party’s attorney. “My client has lived in fear since 2019 and she still trembles before you on the witness stand. She suffers, but so do the children. And to demand moral damages of 2,000 euros.
“Behind these words there is a victim who takes them in”, insists prosecutor Antoine Perrin. And to demand 6 months in prison against the accused, of which 4 months with increased probation.
“The messages are terrible, vile, and I understand that we want to suppress them.”, Advance for his part Me Anthony Alexandre, Barbou’s attorney. Describe his client as “A time bomb, a skinned alive,” he claims, “his psychiatrist turned him into a vegetable”and “What happened to Madame had to happen one day”. But he reminds the court of that “The purpose of a trial is not only to massacre the accused, but also to acknowledge the positive.”
Stéphane Barbou was found guilty of the charges against him and sentenced to 6 months in prison, 4 of which were suspended. In particular, he is obliged to provide psychological and addiction care and is forbidden to contact the victim and to appear at his home. In addition, Stéphane Barbou has to pay the mother of his children 2,000 euros for non-pecuniary damage.