“When we heard those 16 years, something really fell off us,” said Berthie Verstappen to the press afterwards. “Of course we had hoped for more, because it is never enough. We will not get Nicky back, Nicky will not get his life back. But we are happy with this.”
Verstappen says she doesn’t know if she and her family can close the case now. “We’ve known this life for so long that I don’t know what normal life looks like. We’ll have to learn how that goes, and whether that goes.” She was dressed in a shirt with the logo of the murdered crime reporter Peter R. de Vries, who has always continued to draw attention to the case.
Jos B. did not provide a full disclosure to the court about Nicky Verstappen’s last hours. The court took that into account in its decision.
“We were very pleased that they mentioned that,” said mother Verstappen, who said she found it “terrible” that it is not clear what exactly happened. “However afraid you were of the answers, you still wanted to hear what exactly happened. And you can fill it in a bit yourself, but you still want to hear it from the mouth of the perpetrator.”
Verstappen also did not expect that Jos B. would open up. “We are very happy that we now have that verdict, that it has turned sixteen,” said Verstappen. “And we are very grateful for all those people who pulled us through it, but especially Peter R. de Vries, and a lot of people around it.”
Jos B. has said that he found Nicky’s body on the Brunssumerheide. Because of his past history he did not dare to go to the police. According to B., the fact that his DNA was found on Nicky’s pajama pants and underpants is because he turned the boy around and corrected his clothes.
The court said it did not believe that and called it “incomprehensible” that he would not have reported the discovery of a body. It is also impossible for his DNA to have ended up in a large number of places in Nicky’s underpants, according to the court.
B.’s lawyer, Gerald Roethof, said that B. will appeal the verdict. Roethof wants his request for additional DNA testing to be examined. Roethof also wants to object to the fact that the Court of Appeal included earlier sexual offenses cases by Jos B. from the 1980s in its judgment. Those cases were dismissed at the time.
The sentence is considerably higher than the sentence that B. received in the first instance, 12.5 years in prison. The prosecution had demanded 20 years in prison.