By Isha Sesay • 07 December 2019 • 13:54
The mother and son were on a ski holiday when Alex was killed by a former university classmate. Credit: Family handout.
THE mother of a British man brutally beaten to death by a drug-fuelled aristocrat from Switzerland has hit out at judges who are releasing the killer after just three years.
Alex Morgan, 23, was on an Alpine ski holiday in Switzerland with his mum visiting his university classmate Bennet von Vertes, a son of a millionaire art dealer.
At a party hosted at his parent’s chalet, von Vertes ingested a dangerous cocktail of drugs and alcohol, stabbing Mr Morgan with shards of glass from a coffee table and bludgeoning him with a metre-long candlestick and a sculpture. He then rammed the candlestick down Mr Morgan’s throat, choking him to death.
At his trial in 2017, von Vertes claimed he was so high on cocaine and ketamine that he thought Mr Morgan was “a green and red alien from outer space.” The judge accepted this and determined that he suffering from “self-inflicted insanity” at the time, sentencing von Vertes to 12 years in jail.
However, last week, 3 judges downgraded his voluntary manslaughter conviction on appeal to the lesser charge of negligent killing – which will see the man released after serving only serving 3 years of his sentence.
The victim’s devastated mum Katja Faber has been left outraged by the appeal court’s decision, telling the Daily Record that she is fighting for a change to Swiss law to keep killers like von Vertes behind bars.
Speaking after the case, Ms Faber, a former criminal barrister from Scotland, said:
“To have society acknowledge that a wrong was done and my child’s life was worth something to then being told ‘no his killer is actually only guilty of getting high’ – that’s difficult.
“Clearly there is something wrong with that law that needs to be changed and I’m considering being the one who attempts that.
“I think our society needs to take stock. If you can drink and take drugs, there should be an equal responsibility which says, if you commit a crime which is so dangerous that somebody is hurt or killed, then you also have to take responsibility.
“You can’t just say, ‘Oh I was off my head’ and walk away.”
As Euro Weekly News understands, the von Vertes’ had previously offered the victim’s family 20,000 Swiss francs as “emotional compensation” to pay for her son’s death and burial expenses, which was subsequently refused.
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