This Eritrean-born serial sheep abuser who also attempted to rape a woman in Switzerland has been sentenced to prison and inpatient therapy but he will not be deported after serving his time because of his refugee status.
The verdict was announced at the Jura-Seeland District Court based in the city of Biel in Switzerland yesterday (21st April).
Eritrean native Didinga E., 33, was sentenced to 20 months in prison and will receive inpatient therapy after an expert suggested that he was suffering from a schizoaffective disorder.
The defendant’s lawyer Rolf Ratz, 54, had requested for his client’s acquittal and outpatient therapy on the basis of his obvious mental problems.
But public prosecutor Verena Jezler, 35, believed the defendant knew what he was doing regarding some of his offences which lead to the court’s recent decision.
Didinga’s verdict should be followed by an eight-year ban from the Alpine country but local sources said he will not be sent back due to his refugee status as Eritrea does not take back refugees.
Amateur sheep breeder Viktor Schor, 68, who discovered that Didinga E. raped two of his sheep on repeated occasions in February and March 2020, found the defendant’s lack of control questionable.
The shepherd recently revealed he slept in his stables for three months but never caught the sheep rapist during his abusive acts saying: “It didn’t matter when I took up my post, it [the rape] came before or after – or not at all.” He added the man was always looking for new ways to trespass.
The 33-year-old broke into the stables of the pensioner on six occasions to rape two of his sheep named Bali and Lisi while also reportedly causing some property damage and stealing tools.
The shepherd said he believes the incidents caused serious distress to his animals, consisting of sheep and goats, as the suspect presumably chased them around with a broom until he caught the sheep and raped it.
The 68-year-old said he believes the suspect likely targeted the sheep instead of the goats because they were slower.
During the same period, Didinga E. also tried to rape an elderly woman in a forest in the Swiss municipality of Brugg in March 2020.
The woman, who has not been named, said in court: “I took a shortcut along a beaten path and suddenly the perpetrator was standing right behind me. He said he had to have sex with me.”
She said she tried to run away but he caught up with her and unzipped his trousers. The victim said she screamed out loudly as he refused to let her go but she finally managed to escape.
Didinga E. will now have to spend 20 months behind bars. A ban from the country was also requested but given that the court recognised the man’s refugee status, he will likely remain in the country after his incarceration, according to Swiss newspaper Blick.
University of Bern law Professor Alberto Achermann, 60, said that the court’s recognition of Didinga’s refugee status “means Switzerland has acknowledged that for whatever reason he cannot return to his country. Eritrea is one of the countries that do not want to take citizens back.”