Absent street-robber sentenced to 9 months

POSTED: 02/2/12 2:23 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Jeremy Titus Thomas yesterday in absentia to 9 months imprisonment for robbing a man of his gold necklace on November 14 of last year. The 21-year-old was arrested shortly after the robbery; officers found the necklace hidden in his shoe. Thomas confessed to the crime.
“The victim was a tourist and there are plans to make this an aggravating circumstance,” prosecutor mr. Bart den Hartigh said. “These crimes have a negative impact on the island’s reputation and on the economy.”
Thomas was released from pretrial detention after seven days because the cells were needed to accommodate the suspects that were arrested in the Vesuvius-investigation.

The prosecutor said that the defendant is homeless and that he had been inspired to commit his robbery after seeing an advertisement of cash for gold shop. “These businesses make it a lot easier, because they exchange gold for cash instantly. They ought to ascertain whom they are doing business with.”
mr. Brenda Brooks pointed out that her client’s arrest had been unlawful and that the prosecution ought to be declared inadmissible. Based on this argument, mr. Brooks asked the court also to exclude her client’s confession. After that, she said, there is insufficient proof for a conviction.
Judge Mr. Monique Keppels rejected the defense-argument and sentenced Thomas to 9 months with deduction of the seven days he already spent in pretrial detention.

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