TWO judges responsible for the shockingly light sentences dealt out to ‘la manada’ – the wolfpack – who were given a nine-year sentence for ‘sexually abusing’ an 18-year-old girl at the 2016 Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, are once again embroiled in controversy.
Ricardo Javier Gonzalez and Raquel Fernandino, who both agreed to let the five men walk out of jail after posting €6,000 bail in June this year, have now acquitted a man of attempted murder in Lodosa, Navarre, after he attacked his wife with a knife and tried to strangle her in front of their two small children, aged six and three.
Dismissing the prosecutor’s demands for eight and a half years in prison, the judges sentenced the defendant to just 10 months behind bars for ‘occasional abuse’ – even less than the two years requested by the defence.
The court heard that the couple had been separated for six months but on the evening of November 22, 2017, the defendant entered his wife’s home armed with a knife.
When she tried to take it from him, there was a tussle during which she was injured.
The pair continued to struggle on the floor at which point the man put his hand around his wife’s throat and squeezed, causing his children to shout, “Leave her alone! Don’t kill her!”
The judges heard that the defendant stopped his attack voluntarily.
“We consider the withdrawal concurrent with acquitting the defendant from the responsibility of murder,” they ruled.
The victim later said: “What this sentence gives me to understand is that, thanks to the fact I defended myself and he didn’t stab me, it’s not seen as attempted murder.
“But if I hadn’t defended myself, he would have stabbed and killed me. To be guilty of attempted murder, does he have to kill me?”
The case has further fuelled the indignation of feminist collectives, such as Andrea Lunes Lilas.
“It’s inconceivable,” Sofía Martínez told the Olive Press.
“They clearly have no understanding of gender issues. It’s a disgrace. All the judges sitting on these cases should be trained in gender issues.
“It should be a matter of common sense, but since that appears to be the least common of the senses, then training is needed.
“We lobby for it. But we have been called ‘a mob of zealots’ by the President of Navarre’s Court of Justice.”