Desperate act or attempted murder?

6 years sentence for Debby
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Justice demanded six years in prison on Monday against Debby van der V. (35) from Eindhoven for the attempted murder of her husband, Martie van de Sande (40).

The Eindhoven resident allegedly gave her husband a hefty dose of GHB two or three times last year, but Martie survived each time, writes Omroep Brabant.

Wryly, Martie was still murdered later that year, but by someone else. He was shot dead by his niece’s stalking ex in July 2022. He was staying with her in Kinrooi, Belgium, at the time to protect his niece from her ex. Martie and his niece were killed with 13 to 15 bullets. The niece’s ex died early this month by committing suicide in his cell on the niece’s birthday.

‘Pointless situation’

The gruesome shooting in Kinrooi, Belgium, has nothing to do with the attempted murder for which Martie’s wife is on trial. But that double murder did get Martie’s wife’s case rolling.

Namely, Martie’s brother went to the police with the story that Debby would have wanted to kill Martie. And justice soon found desperate messages from Debby to her acquaintances that she was looking for a solution to the hopeless situation she was in, together with her two sons (now 8 and 11).

Both heavily addicted

Martie, who was known as ‘The White’, and Debby were heavily addicted. Martie drank all day and used cocaine. Debby also snorted a lot of coke and drank heavily. In fact, she was also under the influence every day and used up to two grams of cocaine daily.

Martie was a nice guy for the first two years of their relationship, which started in 2013, Debby told the judges. But when they had a baby son together in 2015, that changed. Martie was quick to anger and suddenly treated her little son from her previous relationship differently. Both boys were afraid of Martie.

Money for food was the least important thing in their relationship, with the little money going mostly to drink, drugs and cigarettes. Cocaine was still the easiest, Debby told me, because Martie herself dealt in that.

Hope for better life

She wanted to divorce Martie to give her boys a better life, but Martie wouldn’t let her go, she said. Their relationship went up and down and she suffered mentally as a result. In 2018, for instance, Debby spent a few months with her mother, but in 2019 she married Martie.

Time and again, she kept hoping for a better life for her and her boys, but it always turned out to be futile hope. In August 2021, Debby decided it was done and conceived the plan to give Martie an overdose of the hard drug GHB. According to Debby, she wanted to shake Martie up with this. If he got sick from the GHB he might realise he was doing the wrong thing and turn his life around.


The prosecutor found that Debby had gone way too far and accused her of attempted murder. On three occasions in 2022, Debby allegedly put three caps of GHB in Martie’s beer. Once, Martie really was knocked out and only woke up 19 hours later.

That Debby wanted her husband dead is certainly provable, the officer said, because app messages show that Debby was frustrated that it kept just failing. For instance, she wrote to an acquaintance that Martie really needed to ‘knock out’ and then she would administer more GHB through a tube.


Debby’s lawyer waved away attempted murder. Debby was in a hopeless situation, she argued, and wanted to wake Martie up and make him realise that he needed to stop taking all those drugs. And as Debby herself also said, “If I had wanted him dead, I would have succeeded.”

The lawyer asked for Debby not to be detained any longer, but to start treatment as soon as possible. Debby has a personality disorder and is impaired, according to a report. She herself also wants to start the treatment recommended by experts as soon as possible to eventually resume her life with her two sons.

The court delivers its verdict on 11 September.

Talking about thoughts of suicide helps. You can call 113 Suicide Prevention Foundation 24 hours a day on 0900 0113 or chat.


Translated by: Anitha Sevugan


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