A 53-year-old Belgian pedestrian was struck by a Bentley on Place du Casino on July 16, 2021, just before the Monaco Red Cross gala concert. The luxury car, accidentally activated by a 4-year-old boy who had escaped his father’s attention, hit the man at over 8 km/h in front of the Hôtel de Paris.

Witnesses quickly intervened, lifting the vehicle to free the victim, who was then rushed to Pasteur Hospital in Nice in critical condition. The victim has recovered, and has filed a civil lawsuit along with his wife.

A 54-year-old Armenian and Czech resident, the father of the boy and renter of the Bentley, was tried for “unintentional injuries.” Investigations revealed that the car’s safety systems were bypassed by an insert in the seat belt socket, which prevented the car from registering the driver’s exit and allowed the child to inadvertently activate the accelerator.

The defendant denied knowledge of the insert and claimed he had put the car in ‘parking’ mode. However, the court questioned his supervision of the child and his overall responsibility. The victim’s lawyer requested 180,000 euros in provisional damages, emphasising the severe impact on the victim’s life.

The prosecution called for a one-year suspended prison sentence with a three-year probation period and mandatory compensation, highlighting the father’s negligence and the psychological trauma suffered by the child.

Meanwhile, the defence argued that the father’s responsibility was civil, not criminal, and that the vehicle’s insurance should cover the damages. They also noted that the SBM employee had legal custody of the vehicle at the time.

The court is expected to deliver its verdict on Friday, July 19.