Disturbed repeat-burglar sentenced to 30 months

POSTED: 12/20/12 5:11 PM

St. Maarten – “Can I go home now? I have been up there for eight months,” Martino Alfredo Horsford asked the Court in First Instance yesterday morning. But the verdict against the defendant did not include a Christmas-surprise. Instead of 24 months imprisonment with 8 months suspended, the court sentenced Horsford to 30 months with 10 months suspended. For the time being, the defendant, who has serious addiction and psychological problems, will remain behind bars.

Horsford committed eight burglaries and attempted burglaries between August 16 of last year and June 3 of this year. One of the burglaries took place on January 11, the defendant’s birthday.

On May 20 he had entered the office of doctor Herles at the St. Maarten Medical Center, where he took away $50. When the doctor came to his office he was confronted with the defendant holding a knife in his hand. In court, Horsford denied that he had used the knife to threaten the doctor; the latter however, told police that the man was coming at him in a threatening way with the weapon.

On the same day, the defendant burglarized the offices of Rai Insurance on the Welfare Road. Last year, on August 16, he attempted to break into Kentucky Fried Chicken. On September 30 his target was the Banque Europeenne / Credit Mutuel in Cole Bay. Then, on his birthday, January 11 of this year, he was caught crawling out of Union Caribe.

On March 1 he targeted KFC again and two days later he destroyed the shutters at the house of his cousin with a 2 by 4. The last charge is for an attempt to steal money from an ATM on June 3.

The court considered all charges proven. Because Horsford committed his crimes driven by his drug addiction and his psychological problems, the court noted that admission and treatment at Turning Point or the Mental Health Foundation is indicated.

However, an evaluation of the defendant written in November shows that Horsford is not prepared to cooperate with a treatment. For this reason, Turning Point considers treatment undesirable.

The court followed the recommendation from this report and stated in its ruling that the prosecutor’s demand does not do justice to the seriousness of the crimes. In spite of the defendant’s psychological condition, the court decided to impose a higher penalty.

To keep a grip on the defendant, the court made part of the prison sentence conditional. The conditions are that Horsford sticks to instructions from the rehabilitation bureau after his release, also if this includes cooperating with treatment at the Mental Health Foundation or Turning Point. “It is up to the defendant to show that the evaluation’s conclusion is incorrect and to execute his repeatedly expressed preparedness to cooperate with a treatment,” the court ruling states.

A second condition is that Horsford pays $50 in damages to doctor Herles.



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