Two schoolboys who stole an ice cream and a bag of salted sunflower seeds from a classmate when they were 14 and 15 have been jailed for 13 years each after a trial lasting eight years.
The incredible sentence, for robbery, was passed down by the court even though the victim had never even complained about the matter to police. It was only raised by teachers at the school in Istanbul who were hoping to scare the two boys, part of a group of six that had apparently been stealing the sweets from other kids.
Despite the eight-year-long trial, the two accused, Volkan Kutlu, now aged 22, and Okan Ciftci, now aged 23, who were aged 14 and 15 at the time, had managed to complete their education.
And Kutlu had even gained a place at university when they were arrested after the appeal court rejected their bid to stay out of jail. Kutlu was dramatically grabbed by police as he was about to walk into an exam.
Kutlu’s mother, Havva Saglam, who is a single parent and who paid for her son’s education by working as a nurse, said: ‘
He had an exam the day he was taken to prison. I took his clothes and lecture notes and came back to Istanbul that night.
‘His fellow students and professors were shocked and I was too, not even the child whose sunflower seeds were taken had a complaint about him, yet they sentenced him to imprisonment. They treat my son as if he killed somebody.’