Fifteen months for acid-attack on uncle

POSTED: 02/16/12 1:32 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Nigel Nelson George yesterday afternoon in absentia to 15 months imprisonment for throwing acid in the face of his uncle during an argument on July 30 of last year. Of the sentence 10 months are suspended. The court imposed 2 years of probation. The sentence follows the demand by the prosecution.
George was 19 when the acid-attack took place. He had been brought to St. Maarten from his native Dominica to stay with family. “There were problems,” prosecutor mr. Dounia Benammar said. “His uncle told him that it was no longer possible to keep him and that he was going to be sent back home. During the argument that followed the defendant walked to a shed where he grabbed a cup of acid. Then he went back and threw it in his uncle’s face.”
The victim sustained injuries to both eyes and was unable to work for ten days. The defendant confessed what he did to the police. mr. Benammar demanded 15 months imprisonment, with 10 months suspended and 2 years of probation. “He is no longer here but if he ever comes back he will have to serve those five months,” she said.

George’s attorney mr. Geert Hatzmann said that his client is not the brute the prosecution wants the court to believe he is. “The uncle was in a position of power. There were difficulties and the uncle used his position by threatening my client already earlier with deportation.”
mr. Hatzmann said that his client worked for his uncle for$700 per month. “But he got only $200 in his hands. The rest went to his aunt and only if she approved he would get some of this money. The circumstances have led to frustration. It is not good what he did but it is understandable.”

The attorney said that he considered the 15-month demand “very heavy,” and said that a conditional sentence was more appropriate. But Judge mr. Monique Keppels found the charges proven and said there were no grounds for mitigating circumstances. She sentenced the defendant accordingly.

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