Ptuj – Silvo Drevenšek, who has pleaded guilty to murdering his former spouse and her parents in front of his four-year-old son on Christmas Eve 2020, has been sentenced to life in prison, the first time a Slovenian court has handed down this sentence since it was reintroduced to the criminal code in 2008.
In a ruling announced on Monday, the Ptuj District Court thus upheld the proposal of the prosecution, which argued that Drevenšek, who was sane when he committed the crime, had killed three people out of revenge after the partner left him and demanded a division of common assets.
He had even announced his act in advance, as evident from testimony by several witnesses.
The life sentence was also requested by the victim’s relative, who told the court they would fear for their lives if Drevenšek were ever to emerge from prison.
The defence, on the other hand, thought that the court should have taken into consideration exonerating circumstances, in particular his state of mind after the loss of his family.
His lawyer Andrej Kac urged the court to hand down a sentence that would eventually allow Drevenšek to be integrated in society.
The murders took place on Christmas Eve when Drevenšek, 35, entered the house he used to share with his estranged spouse in Gerečja Vas, a small village in eastern Slovenia, after having agreed to give his four-year-old son a Christmas gift.
Once he entered the house, he stabbed her with a kitchen knife several times until she bled to death.
After killing his former partner, he entered the neighbouring house, where his son, at the time aged four, was minded by his former partner’s parents.
He used the same kitchen knife to kill the grandfather, while the grandmother suffered injuries so bad she died in hospital the same day.
Court documents show Drevenšek’s son had pleaded with him not to murder the grandparents.
Drevenšek has thus become the first Slovenian to be sentenced to life in prison in independent Slovenia, though the ruling is still not final and may yet be appealed.
Slovenian courts have handed down several 30-year sentences in recent years and the prosecution has proposed life in prison in several more cases, but until now the courts have always opted for milder sentences.