Conditional sentence for attack on racist co-worker

POSTED: 08/15/13 12:56 PM

St. Maarten – On February 23, Terrence Denicio Pantophlet gave in to his frustration and anger about a co-worker at the French-side company that distributed Presidente-beer and ill-treated the man who constantly pestered him with racist remarks like “monkey, ape and nigger” in the Beauty Crystal bar in Sucker Garden.

Prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp demanded 2 months conditional imprisonment with 2 years of suspension and 100 hours of community service against the defendant. She asked the court to acquit the defendant of the charge of causing grievous bodily harm and to let it go at simple ill-treatment.

“There is a lot wrong on the work floor at present,” the prosecutor noted. “That plays a part in my demand. The role the victim has played is not good either, but that is not the issue here. The defendant is aggressive and he took it out on his victim in a way for which there are no words to describe it. He has a huge anger management problem. The victim was sitting at the bar and he got hit from out of nowhere. That is not acceptable.”

Pantophlet’s attorney Safira Ibrahim told the court that her client had been working at Presidente since 2008 and that the problems began almost immediately. “He acted out of impotence and frustration. His employer did not take any measures to prevent the insults.”

Judge Koos van de Ven acquitted the defendant of causing grievous bodily harm. He also dropped a charge for ill-treating another man in the bar because this plaintiff had only felt the effects of an attack in his direction very slightly. The court also acquitted the defendant of threatening the son of the Beauty Crystal bar’s owner.

The judge dismissed defense arguments that the defendant had not had the intention to cause harm to his victim, or that he had acted under emotional distress. “I am amazed about the things that happen on the work floor at Presidente,” the judge said with a reference to the racist insults. That this still happens in 2013, while the management is aware of it and does not intervene. But that is no excuse for such a physical reaction.”

 

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