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Anger at 'lenient' sentence for hit-and-run driver
A hit-and-run driver who killed a woman on a pedestrian crossing in Schaerbeek has been ordered to carry out 250 hours of community service - a sentence that campaigners say is "unbearably lenient".
Stephanie Verbraekel, a 28-year-old journalist for De Standaard newspaper, was propelled 20 metres when she was struck by a car speeding at 90kph on Chaussée de Haecht in November 2017.
As well as the 250 hours of work, the 20-year-old convicted driver has been banned from driving for four years and must pay €17,500 in damages to Verbraekel's family.
The Brussels public prosecutor will appeal against the sentence. It had asked the judge to consider an 18-month jail term.
"The absence of apologies to the victim's family, even 18 months after the accident, is blatant," the prosecutor said.
Schaerbeek road safety campaign group 1030/0 said the sentence amounted to "30 days of community service for killing a young woman".
The group said: "We are in contact with the victim's parents and they are annoyed. Killing someone by driving at 90kph is not an accident - it is using a car as a weapon of assault.
"By sending out such a message, road crimes like this will continue."