Compiègne. For a debt of twenty euros, Daouda Camara steals her debtor’s car

Compiègne. For a debt of twenty euros, Daouda Camara steals her debtor’s car

Illustration photo by Breno Assis / Unsplash

“As soon as you give me my money back, I’ll give you your car back.» It is in these terms that Daouda Camara, 41 years old and 21 years old, indicates to the one who has been hosting her since her recent release from prison the confiscation of her personal vehicle — until he repays her debt. The amount of it is paltry (about twenty euros) and is certainly not worth the price of the debtor’s Renault Mégane 4, a car at the wheel of which Camara disappeared on the night of July 19 last year – leaving his friend alone in the middle of the Clos-des-Roses district.

It all started a little earlier on July 19, when Daouda Camara (free then for only a few weeks) went to her friend’s home to pick up some things. Already drunk after having consumed beer and wine on the occasion of a barbecue organized by other friends of his, Camara then asks the host to drive him back to the scene of the party. It is 1 o’clock in the morning, in the middle of the Clos-des-Roses district, when Camara asks her driver friend to stop to chat for a moment. And Camara then evokes a debt that her host owes her. But soon, the creditor – sitting on the passenger side – gets out of the vehicle, gets down to open the driver’s side door. The next scene takes place without violence. Camara then asks her friend to get out of his own car and disappear as soon as possible. “Run, run, run”, then threatens Camara, who immediately tells the victim : “As soon as you give me my money back, I’ll give you your car back”. Then Daouda gets behind the wheel and passes the first — abandoning her friend in the night. A few moments later, Daouda Camara is stopped at the wheel of the Megane he has just stolen — drunk and without holding a driver’s license. He is then taken into custody.

41 years old / 21 mentions in the locker: “I know 22-year-olds who have more”

Daouda Camara

Appearing under escort on Monday, August 8, Daouda Camara – who admits all the offenses that are accused of her – today remembers the blood alcohol level that was hers on the night of the facts. “1.5 grams”, he answers to the president Laura Constantin who asks him about his drunkenness last month. And the game of questions and answers to continue. “41 years old and how many mentions on your criminal record?» wants to know the magistrate, who nevertheless knows the right answer. Camara hesitates : “18, 19, more…” The president encourages him : “Make an effort.””I don’t know about that…”, Daouda answers him from her box. “21 mentions” president Laura Constantin adjudicates, the criminal record of the defendant under the eyes. But Camara then thinks it’s good to retort : “I know 22-year-olds who have bigger lockers than me.» Finally, perhaps wanting to bring him back to reality, the president continues her interrogation : “Do you know how much you are incurring today?» Camara, who otherwise introduces himself as “a vagabond,” shrugs. “Theft in recidivism, three times two: six years”, decides the magistrate.

Refusal of authority

Already convicted of extortion with violence, drug trafficking, but also robbery with a weapon, the defendant has already spent part of his adult life behind bars. Moreover, the acts committed last month by Camara were committed while he was under a probation suspension. Probation, which prosecutor Marie-Céline Lawrysz is asking for to be revoked up to 3 months, as well as a sentence of 6 months in prison — with continued detention. For the magistrate, in this case, “the financial dispute is anecdotal” and only reveals “a personality that is in omnipotence” and who “doesn’t want to be subject to rules”.

For her part, Lucile Voisin, Camara’s lawyer, evokes “a succession of bad choices since August 17, 1999 (Editor’s note: date of his first conviction)», and wants to insist “about the meaning of punishment, about what it is expedient to put in place”. To do this, she is advancing an insertion project in the building, coupled with the installation of an electronic bracelet, Camara’s mother accepting that he will now be accommodated at her home. She concludes her argument by holding that “Mr. Camara is also capable of making good choices as part of his reintegration.»

But the court does not seem convinced: it sentences Daouda Camara to 7 months in prison and orders her to remain in detention.

A. B.


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