36-year old St. Maartener gets 44 months for armed robbery

POSTED: 07/21/11 11:37 AM

Court acquits defendant of attempted manslaughter

St. Maarten – Wilfred Fernand Sint Jago, a 36-year old St. Maartener known by his nickname Rabbit, was sentenced to 44 months imprisonment yesterday in the Court in First Instance for taking part in a foiled armed robbery on January 20.

Prosecutor Mr. M. Overmeer demanded 4 years imprisonment during the trial on June 29, but Judge Mr. M. Keppels granted the defendant a 4-month sentence reduction for the four weeks he spent too long in a police cell.

Sint Jago claimed in court that there are “more people called Rabbit” and he referred to one he knew in Cole Bay. But to police officers Sint Jago told the following story on January 25. “It was the boy Rudy in Cole Bay who gave me the nickname Rabbit. I used to hop and jump with my bicycle over things. From that day Rudy is calling me Rabbit and now everybody is calling me Rabbit.”

Whether there are more Rabbits on the island or not is relatively irrelevant, because the robbery victim’s neighbor had recognized Sint Jago when he ran away from the scene. He committed the robbery with two others but they have not been identified by the witness.

The victim, Brazilian R.V. Kil told police that he was sleeping at his home on the Onasha Jones Road above the Suki supermarket when he was woken up around two o’clock by a man in his bedroom. The man was brandishing a knife and a gun and told Kil that he “just wanted the money.”

When the robber turned his victim around and attempted to duct-tape his hands behind his back a struggle ensued. Two other men came into the bedroom to assist the first robber, but the Brazilian managed to overcome the odds and escape from his bedroom, screaming for help. He was stabbed in the process, but he told police that everything went so fast that he was unable to say who had inflicted the knife wounds.

According to the medical report, Kil sustained a stab wound in the abdomen, two superficial lacerations on his face, large red marks on the side of his face and a painful knee.

The robbery victim was lucky that his neighbor, a lady he calls mama, woke up to his screams, switched on her porch light and opened the door for him. The robbers fled the scene and mama recognized one of them as Rabbit. The lady was positive in her recognition, because at one time rabbit used to work with her in the kitchen of the Divi Divi Little Bay Resort. (Sint Jago told police he was working there as a waiter).

Judge Mr. M. Keppels acquitted Sint Jago of attempted manslaughter since it could not be established who had inflicted the knife wounds on the victim, who in the meantime has left the island and returned to his native Brazil.

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