Grandmother reported drunk car thief to police

POSTED: 11/22/12 1:33 PM

St. Maarten – For some reason Terry Alvin Halley could not stop laughing, but Judge Tamara Tijhuis did not see the fun. She sentenced Halley to a 1 month conditional prison sentence with 2 years of probation, supervision by the Rehabilitation Bureau and 60 hours of community service for stealing a car two weeks ago, on November 8.

“I had been drinking a little bit too much,” Halley told the court, but when Judge Tijhuis wanted to discuss the details of the car theft, he started laughing. “Do you think this is funny?” the judge asked. “Or are you maybe nervous. That is possible but I don’t find this funny at all when someone steals cars.”

To the dismay of his attorney Shaira Bommel, the defendant stuck to his merry attitude until the end.

On November 8, Halley stole a car from a gas station where he found it with the keys in the ignition. He drove to his grandmother’s house, where he ran into a reality check: his grandmother called the police and Halley was arrested. The car was returned to its owner – undamaged.

The defendant spent only three days in custody, because something went wrong with the prolongation of his detention. For this reason, the prosecution opted to bring the case on short notice to trial.

When Judge Tijhuis discussed the defendant’s personal circumstances, Halley kept laughing. Have you been drinking now?” the judge wanted to know, but he said that this was not the case. Halley is a jobless car mechanic who lives with his mother.

Prosecutor Mr. Georges van den Eshof said that the car theft is in itself not a shocking crime. “But it is a nuisance for the car owner.”

The prosecutor demanded a 1 month conditional prison sentence with 2 years of probation and 60 hours of community service. “I think community service is a fitting punishment, because it is not healthy to hang around at home at your age and do nothing,”

Attorney Shaira Bommel said that het client had immediately admitted to the car theft. “But he was so far under the influence of alcohol that he does not remember very well what happened.”

She added that her client had asked for help to prevent him from going in the wrong direction again.

Judge Tijhuis appreciated that and added supervision by the Rehabilitation Bureau to the prosecutor’s demand.

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