Whoa, let us play the article. It is ready when you have clicked ‘Allow all’
In November, fitness queen Charlotte Bircow was subjected to a rough assault, in which she sprained her hand and was robbed of her rolex watch.
On Thursday, she was in court in Nice as the only witness, where a verdict was reached in the case against the so-called ‘Rolex gang’. She states this on her Instagram.
Charlotte Bircow tells BT about her experience after four hours in the court, Palais de Justice, in the French coastal town – an experience she calls a slow process.
“It was the first time I was in court like that – there were many cases that had to be reviewed. So the process was slow.’
The assault happened on 5 November, when Charlotte Bircow had been out powerwalking with her partner Per. The couple were returning from Nice towards Villefrance, where a man comes walking from behind and grabs Bircow’s hand, rips off the watch and runs away.
The violent experience left Charlotte Bircow with a sprained wrist and bruises.
Charlotte Bircow says that she was the only one who had a good view of the two perpetrators – despite the fact that she had only seen the man who grabbed her arm from the side and from the back.
In the courtroom, she sat directly opposite the two perpetrators, where the only thing separating them was Plexiglas. However, she emphasizes that she never feared for her own safety.
“Fundamentally, I always think that people somewhere are good people who have a decent heart. But sometimes I think some just grow up in an environment where it’s hard to save them. One (perpetrator, ed.) had been in prison before. So this is the second time. They are young people, they are 29 and 33 years old.’
During the four-hour trial on Thursday night, Charlotte Bircow was given an apology. But it’s an excuse she doesn’t give much for.
“You could see that their apology to me was directed by the lawyer so that they could get a lighter sentence,” she says and continues:
“They said ‘many times sorry to Madame Næss-Schmidt’. But it was such an excuse that they didn’t bother to look me in the eye.’
The perpetrators were sentenced to 4 years in prison and were deported from France for 10 years after serving their sentence. A sentence which, according to the 61-year-old, is reasonable.
Although the assault is now an officially closed chapter with the conviction on Thursday, it has still left its mark on Charlotte Bircow.
“I still find it difficult when people walk behind me. I’m still looking over my shoulder. All the time,’ she says and concludes:
“But I’m fine now.”