The trial of Philippe Guignard was suspended late Monday morning. The former pastry chef, accused of fraud, felt bad and had to leave the courtroom in Renens (VD).
The state of health of the former star of the stove, who has suffered from depression for several years, was addressed at the start of the hearing. “I have just spent two nights in the mental hospital, I am at the end of my rope,” he said. However, he said he wanted to finish his eight-day trial.
Monday shortly before noon, while two complainants were being questioned, Philippe Guignard challenged the judge and asked to leave. Flickering, he was led out of the room by another complainant, a medical professional.
If Mr. Guignard’s condition allows, the trial must resume Monday at 2:00 p.m.
The former pastry chef, who operated several renowned establishments in the canton of Vaud at the time of his splendor, finds himself in court for fraud, aggravated unfairness and faulty management.
He is accused of having duped sixteen people between 2011 and 2013 with a real estate project and used their money – more than three million francs – to pay off personal and company debts. He would have benefited from the help of three accomplices, who must answer this week to Renens of complicity of swindle.
The first couple of complainants were interviewed Monday morning. They said that the real estate project in Orbe was “well put together” and did not seem “risky”. The presence in the transaction of a notary – who is among the defendants – and a first mortgage certificate as collateral completed convincing them.
“It is painful to see how much we were made have,” declared the husband who, with his wife, paid 250,000 francs for this pseudo real estate project. “We thought we were careful. But I tell myself since we were a bit naive,” he admitted.
The strategy put in place by Philippe Guignard and his co-defendants was not enough to save him from bankruptcy. His company went bankrupt in 2014 and the pastry chef himself was declared bankrupt a few months later.
Affected in his health, the former president of Lausanne-Sport (2002-2006) tried to revive in 2015. But his new establishment in Orbe had to close in spring 2019, Philippe Guignard having been caught by the disease.