“It’s a ball of hate”, remembers Me Jean-Michel Sieklucki when he received Cyril Gendron for the first time in his office. For good reason, Cyril Gendron is experiencing a difficult loss, that of his mother, Françoise. In December 1988, she was killed, then dismembered for several days, by Sylvie Reviriego, who until then had been her best friend.
For this young man without much family reference, the shock is terrible. “It must be said that he is quite alone in life because apart from his mother, he has no one. He has no brothers and sisters, father or grandparents, he has nothing”, regrets Jean-Michel Sieklucki in Voices of Crime. From the outset, the lawyer becomes aware of the trauma of his young client and does everything possible to support him in his approach.
Jean-Michel Sieklucki becomes the hope of the young man. “I am old enough to be his father and I quickly feel that there is a transfer taking place but there is a relationship between him and me which is going to be a somewhat filial relationship. (…) He has no father (…) and I feel that I am very quickly more than his lawyer”, he confides.
He’s a boy that I’ll take weeks weeks to tame
Very quickly, Jean-Michel Sieklucki’s primary concern is to reassure his client, not without difficulty: “He’s a boy that I’m going to take weeks to tame, to reason with, to try to get him into his head what justice is and what the role of justice is.”
However, the hardest part for Me Sieklucki remains the time of the trial. “I know from experience, having been a little less, but still quite frequently a lawyer for victims, that the episode of the assize trial for a victim is extremely difficult to live with.” And to add: “Needless to say that these are hours of psychological preparation. In his office, we discuss, we explain how it will happen, how to behave.
The satisfaction of his client is a happiness for the lawyer, a kind of mission accomplished
For Jean-Michel Sieklucki and his client Cyril Gendron, the outcome of the trial is nevertheless a success. In June 1991, the Assize Court of Tours sentenced Sylvie Reviriego to life imprisonment: a relief for the lawyer for the victim’s son. “I’m happy for him (…) the satisfaction of his client is a joy for the lawyer, a kind of mission accomplished,” he says.
After this satisfactory verdict, Jean-Michel Sieklucki will gradually lose sight of his client, two to three years after the trial. However, the lawyer does not forget Cyril Gendron, even thirty-four years after the facts. This case remains one of the most significant and impressive of his career.
Despite the hopes of seeing Cyril Gendron again one day, Me Sieklucki is well aware that the chances are low: “I let him know that if he wanted to see me, I was there (…) but when you have been sentenced and you have been through a trial, you want to erase the whole trial. And often, we erase the avocado with it.”
>> Voices of Crime are lawyers, investigators, relatives of victims, suspects or culprits. These key witnesses confide in the microphone of RTL journalists. Unpublished testimonies, which shed new light on justice and major criminal cases today.
Twice a month, one of these Voices of Crime tells us her point of view on a criminal case. An RTL podcast.