The rue de l’Epée murder trial in Dieppe: changing versions and failing memories

The rue de l’Epée murder trial in Dieppe: changing versions and failing memories

The three defendants are on trial for the rue de l’Epée murder in Dieppe (Seine-Maritime) until Friday, September 30, 2022, at the Seine-Maritime jury in Rouen. (© Dieppe News / FM)

Trial for murder Pascal Dupuis59 years old, 80% disabled, found dead in Dieppe (Maritime Seine) rue de l’Épée on 25 May 2018, continues until Friday 30 September 2022, in rehearsals Maritime Seinein Rouen.

Violent and repeated blows

Three people appear. Stephen P., the main accused to whom the fatal blows are attributed, currently in custody, Julien F., which compared for free, and John J., in other case. He must answer for the facts failure to provide assistance to a person in danger.

The first day of the hearing, President Julie Arzuffi emphasized the seriousness of the alleged facts. The beatings were violent, repeated blows, localized on vital areas (face and chest) and on a man whose vulnerability no one could ignore. »

The victim was found at home by his father, who visited his son very regularly. The three defendants spent time during the day at Pascal Dupuis consuming alcohol.

broken lives

A large part of the first day was devoted to personal interviews of the three defendants, whose lives were marked by multiple convictions and imprisonments, alienation from the professional world, living without a permanent residence and chronic alcohol consumption.

That’s life Stephen P., 51 years old, who talks about a childhood marked by personal difficulties, especially in communication. “I didn’t start talking until I was 7-8 years old,” he says. “I learned to speak with a speech therapist.

He exercises a little in the green area, but combines stays in custody – for driving under the influence of alcohol, violence, theft… – and moments of wandering, in homes or on the street. With very often in the background pathological consumption of alcohol, which now suggests that he is being treated and visited by an alcoholic.

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Julien F. (40 years) a John J. (44 years old) have a similar background, consisting of many convictions (theft, driving under the influence of alcohol, violence, etc.), life on the street or at home, family breakdown and still this heavy alcoholism that dominates and destroys their life. When asked to describe himself, Johan J. confides with a hint of exasperation:

I would say kindness as a trait and alcohol as a flaw. When I consume, I no longer want to do anything, nothing motivates me anymore.

John J.

Uncertainties about the course of events

The next day, the three defendants were again called to testify, this time about the course of events. Johan J and Julien F are the first to be heard.

They, as well as Stéphane P., presented different versions on 25 May 2018 during their various hearings: in police custody, before the investigating judge, in a three-way confrontation.

The president must deal with these risks to try to reconstruct the main stages of that fateful day, as well as with the often uncertain memories of the defendants. In any case, some converging and troubling points emerge from the testimony.

It seems that the three men would go after Pascal Dupuis, an acquaintance of Johan’s. D, on the morning of May 25 for the purpose of consuming alcohol there. In the morning, the victim and Stéphane P. would go to a nearby grocery store to buy a bottle.

Johan J says: “We started talking about everything, then it started degenerating into a dog story. Actually, Mr. Dupuis had a boutique, fashion goods, or something like that. »

Stéphane P. had an apartment upstairs with a dog who was put in the SPA because he was making too much noise as I understood. According to him, Mr. Dupuis was to blame for this placement, so he became angry.

John J.

Two phases of violence?

Stéphane P. would give the first blows to the victim. According to Johan J.’s testimony, the violent acts would take place in two phases, interspersed with calm. First slaps and punches in the face, then kicks in the chest and the victim lies on the ground.

“I tried to separate them and in the fight I poked their nose,” explains Johan J. Julien also tried to stop it, but it started again. We tried to take care of him by giving him tissues. His face was covered in blood and bruises. »

But why not call for help? “Julien wanted to call the emergency services, but Mr. Dupuis didn’t want to, neither did the firemen, nor the doctors. And for two men with extensive criminal records, there is also the fear of the authorities and the fear of being assimilated to murder.

And then ?

The sequence of events remains unclear: all three would go drinking national squarewith the victim’s bank card and checkbook in his pocket, which was used to buy alcohol at the supermarket.

During the hearing, Johan J. confides something he never mentioned: he would have returned to Mr. Dupuis where he found him dead, but without telling anyone afterwards. When the president asks him if he would like to say anything to the victim’s family, Johan J. admits: “I should have called the emergency services for Mr. Dupuis, maybe he would still be here if I did…”

Despite the equally evolving versions and imperfect memory, Julien F.’s testimony reveals equally chilling and sometimes very accurate facts about Stéphane P.

He was kicking and laughing at the same time. It was particularly violent. He jumped several times on M. Dupuis’s chest; he jumped on it with both feet.

Julien F.

But he didn’t call the emergency services either, even though he had a cell phone, and would have left the victim alone in critical condition: “I know I’m wrong, but I can’t say much about it. »

“I don’t remember anymore”

In the afternoon, the interrogation of the main defendant Stéphane P. A very strange moment when he seems to lock himself in the defense without or almost without explanation, long moments of silence and “I don’t remember more” alternate.

Still, he says, “It was Johan who decided to go to Mr. Dupuis. At first it went well, then there was an argument with Mr. Dupuis. We both fought. He was the one who started poking me with the cane, I don’t know why. »

Then I kicked. I do not know why. Punches to the face and kicks to the legs.

Stephen P.

However, he does not accept the level of violence as described by Johan J and Julien F.: “It is impossible for me to do this. He also evacuates this dog story that he doesn’t remember.

And when everyone left the victim’s house, he said he was in a “normal” state. A lawyer for the civil party exclaims: “What you are putting the family through is torture. Can you admit that you killed a person? Possible? “The person’s laconic response: “No. »

Stéphane P. who acknowledges violence but not murdercauses a lifetime. Julien F. and Johan J. who acknowledge helpless person in dangerimpose a fine five years in prison and A fine of 75,000 euros.

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