Henk Koelewijn was an unholy terror to his children. As we saw last month, the 59-year-old Dutchman, a conservative Christian who believes in the Biblical exhortation that sparing the rod means spoiling the child, inflicted a catalog of horrors on his brood. Among his terrifying acts were holding a running chainsaw to the neck of a bound child, and innumerable beatings (some with a stick) of children who displeased him. He would also lock misbehaving members of his chaotic household up in a shipping container, or in the attic of his home, often without access to water or food.
When he was finally hauled into a courtroom, the judge agreed with the prosecution that the defendant had steadily heaped physically abuse on 10 of his 19 sons and daughters.
“As a result, the children have grown up in an unsafe and unpredictable family situation,”
… the court declared before sentencing Koelewijn yesterday.
So what was this petty tyrant’s punishment?
“They were exposed to violence that the defendant meted out to them or to their siblings. It is abominable that the children came to regard this as normal. The constant threat must have been oppressive.”
Two years, the judge decided. The prosecutors, who’d also charged Koelewijn with the sexual assault of at least one daughter — unproven, the court ruled — had demanded an already crazy-merciful sentence of five years behind bars.
In addition to a little bit of prison time, the God-besotted dad is prohibited by court order from having any contact with his kids and grandkids until 2023. Four of the adult children were also awarded just over 10,000 euros (about $11,800).
Because his prison sentence will be reduced by the time he spent in jail awaiting trial, it looks like Koelewijn could be a free man again before the year is out.
If he prayed for leniency, it sure appears that the Almighty granted it in spades. Other pious child abusers in the Netherlands are probably sleeping a little easier now.
(Thanks to Jeroen for the tip. Screenshot via YouTube)