Teenager kills mayor to avenge father

Alfred Gadenne. Photo: Wikipedia
Alfred Gadenne. Photo: Wikipedia

A Belgian teenager who blamed the local mayor for his father’s suicide after he was fired from a town hall job has confessed to slashing the politician’s throat in a cemetery on Monday (local time) night, public broadcaster RTBF said.

The murder of Alfred Gadenne (71), the mayor of Mouscron and a former lawmaker in the regional parliament, has shocked the country, with the prime minister expressing his ‘‘horror’’.

The public prosecutor said a man was under arrest after giving himself up to police at the scene of the killing.

Citing sources, RTBF said he was 18 and told police he was avenging his father, who killed himself two years ago after losing his job as a local council employee. A box-cutter was found at the scene, where the young man had calmly called police to attend around 8pm.

Gadenne, a conservative whose death prompted tributes from across the national political spectrum, acted as caretaker for the cemetery next to his home and was killed after going there to lock up for the night, as he did every evening.

RTBF said the man had waited until he reached the age of majority so his mother, also a municipal employee, could not be held liable for his actions under Belgian law.

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