The Angers Criminal Court sentenced three defendants to suspended sentences ranging between 18 months and three years for the fall of a balcony that killed four people in 2016.
The court released two other defendants, Frederic Rolland, the architect of the building, and Eric Morand, the supervisor of works, causing tears and sighs among civil parties.
The public prosecutor of Angers Eric Bouillard had requested that Mr. Rolland be sentenced to the maximum four-year term, with two years of imprisonment for each of the firm sentences.
During the reading of judgment, the president of court stated that "the breaches of architect's professional obligations are not a certain causal connection with the collapsed balcony".
Eric Morand (53), the works manager, was sentenced to three years imprisonment, with 18 months suspended. He was later released. The bar was informed by Morand that the construction method for the balconies had been altered to meet the deadlines.
Patrick Bonnel (73), was sentenced to a three year suspended sentence in prison and a fine of almost 25,000 euros. He acknowledged a "serious and inexcusable" error at the helm and said he was ashamed of the work of his team. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment with one year suspended by the prosecution.
Jean-Marcel Moreau (site manager), 63, was sentenced to 18-months suspended prison sentence and 1,000 Euro fine. These sentences were in accordance with the requisitions.
On the night of the tragedy, 18 students in their twenties were talking on the balcony of "Le Surcouf", a residence in the middle of Angers. Then, it fell into a void.
The bodies of Lou (18), Antoine (21) and Benjamin (23) were found in the rubble by firefighters. Other victims were also taken to the hospital.