Four years for armed robbery in bar

POSTED: 05/18/12 1:36 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Terry Constant to 4 years imprisonment for an armed robbery that took place at the Christina Bar on February 3. Of the sentence, 2 years are suspended, and Judge mr. Monique Keppels imposed 2 years of probation. Prosecutor mr. Manon Ridderbeks demanded 5 years imprisonment.
Constant, 24, attacked a man in the bar together with a friend who claimed the robbery-victim owed him money. In the fracas, the victim was hit on the head with a gun and his gold chain was ripped off his neck. Constant sustained life threatening stab wounds and had to be treated in hospital.
The victim had been threatened already a day earlier by Constant’s unidentified friend. When he was threatened again on February 3, he said that he did not let himself be threatened and walked away, into the bar. Prosecutor Ridderbeks labeled the actions of the defendant and his friend as “revolting.” While chasing their target, the men pushed a woman in the bar aside in such a rough way that she broke her leg in several places.
“The defendant is still of the opinion that he had every reason to go after his victim. With such an attitude, the whole island is going to hell,” the prosecutor fumed.
mr. Ridderbeks considered it proven that Constant had caused the injuries to the woman. The stolen chain was found in the defendant’s possession in the hospital. “This is the type of defendant that gives the island a bad name,” the prosecutor concluded, before demanding a 5-year prison sentence.
mr. Shaira Bommel noted that her client had from the beginning admitted his guilt to stealing the chain. “He does not think it is normal what he did; he has said it was wrong to take the chain. My client says that he did not have a gun and that he never saw a weapon.”
mr. Bommel said that there was no medical report about the woman’s injuries and that it is therefore unclear whether she sustained those injuries during the fracas in the bar. “It is unclear whether my client is guilty of this,” she said.
Judge Keppels considered the theft of the chain, the threats with the firearm and the ill-treatment of the woman proven. “It is possible that you did not see the weapon,” she noted, but since Constant was involved in the robbery together with someone else, the actions of the second man also come for his account.
“This is a serious crime,” the judge said. “You are a first offender and it seems that you have your life in order. You also sustained serious injuries yourself and this could have ended in death for you.”
Considering all these circumstances, the judge suspended a large part of her sentence.

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