Assize Court finds Jurgen Demesmaeker guilty of murdering Ilse Uyttersprot

The Assize Court in Ghent has found Jurgen Demesmaeker guilty of the murder of Ilse Uyttersprot. The Flemish politician was killed in 2020. The jury took 2.5 hours to reach its decision on Monday evening, and Demesmaeker's exact punishment will be decided on Tuesday.

On the morning of 4 August 2020, Demesmaeker went to the local police and told them he had beaten his girlfriend's head with a hammer. He has always maintained that his actions were unplanned. But the jury at the Assize Court decided he had acted with premeditation and that it was therefore murder.

Ilse Uyttersprot was a well-known and popular politician in Flanders. She became a councillor in Aalst in 1989 and was elected mayor in 2007. During her time as mayor, she was also a member of parliament for about three years, until the 2010 federal elections. Two years later, she had to give up her mayoralty.

Partner violence

Uyttersprot's death was not only tragic. Her passing also put the issue of partner violence back on the map in Belgium. Last year, there were 60,000 police interventions related to partner violence, or about 164 per day. In 2021, the police received 48,325 reports of intra-family violence.

Domestic violence includes any form of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence between members of the same family. It is a component of intra-family violence and refers to physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence between spouses or people who live or have lived together.

Federal police crime statistics show that physical or psychological violence within couples is the main problem in Belgium.





Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels