Court postpones domestic violence trial

POSTED: 09/22/11 2:21 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance has postponed the trial of Safraz H. for a maximum of three months to give the Rehabilitation Bureau the opportunity to do a psychological evaluation. The postponement was requested by prosecutor mr. M. Overmeer.

The 30 year old defendant is accused of ill-treating his partner (and the mother of his two children) on May 4, and again on May 16. The woman told the defendant in October of last year that she wanted to end their relationship because she had met someone else. She gave the man some time to find other accommodation but when he still had not left the house by May 4 of this year she went to the police, telling them that she wanted H. to leave. When she came back home, the police called the man and told him he had to go. He then ill-treated the woman by beating her up.

Barely two weeks after this incident, on May 16, H. went after his ex-partner with a knife and stabbed her several times in the back, without fatal consequences.
He has since spent ten days in detention and the Judge of Instruction has issued a contact-ban, forbidding the defendant to have contacts with his wife and with his children. Because the children have in the meantime moved to their grandmother, the defendant sees them again and takes them to school.
H. expressed regrets about what he had done, but prosecutor Overmeer did not want to continue with the case.
“This was not an incident,” she said. “I want to know more about the defendant’s personality.”
H.’s attorney mr. C.H.J. Merx objected to the postponement and called the demand for a psychological evaluation an exaggeration – but he found Judge Keppels in his way.

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