Girl sentenced for hitting stepfather with machete

POSTED: 03/13/16 7:24 PM

St. Maarten News – A 22-year-old firebrand who could not stand the way her stepfather treated her mother received a sentence of 180 days of imprisonment, with 170 days suspended, in the Court in First Instance on Wednesday for hitting her stepfather with a machete on his head. The incident took place on December 12 of last year. The prosecution has asked for a higher sentence – 365 days with 355 days suspended.

Judge Angela noted that there are no pictures of the injuries in the dossier and that the stepfather had not wanted to press charges against the young woman.

Currently Diedre Anouschka Bradshaw lives with an aunt in Nevis; she came back to the island for the trial, but said that she wants to return to Nevis and continue her life there.

“The first time I met you I saw a disoriented lady,” prosecutor Maarten Noordzij said. “She escaped from the Mental Health Foundation, saying that she does not have any mental problems. Her problem is that she loves her mother and that she wants the best for her.”

The girl did not take kindly to the consistent philandering of her stepfather.

The girl’s mother told the court that her daughter is ‘a caretaker” and that she regrets what happened. “She called her stepfather to apologize.”

“The defendant acted in a rage because things did not go well between her mother and her stepfather,” Noordzij said. He considered attempted manslaughter proven. “If you hit someone with a machete you do not control what happens,” he said “It could be fatal. You seriously crossed a line there.”

The prosecutor noted that this defendant does not belong in prison. “She needs help.”

Attorney Sjamira Roseburg told the court that her client had acted under psychological duress. “The relationship with her stepfather is not good because he does not approve of her lifestyle. She did not have the intention to kill, because she hit with the flat side of the machete.”

Roseburg asked the court to drop the charges.

Judge Angela found no evidence for attempted manslaughter. “It is unclear how and how hard she hit the victim. Causing grievous bodily hard is not proven either. What remains is ill-treatment with a weapon.” The judge rejected the call on psychological duress.

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