High-fiving young burglars have to pay damages

POSTED: 02/2/15 1:07 AM

St. Maarten – Three young men who took a “stupid decision” to burglarize and vandalize the Ho supermarket in St. Peters in the night of January 4 to January 5 of this year, practically high-fived in the courtroom after they realized that Judge Maria Paulides had just sprung them from jail. But the burglars are not out of the woods yet: apart from suspended sentences, the court also imposed 60 hours of community service on them and the obligation to pay each $1,000 in damages to the supermarket owner.

Enel Deshommes was sentenced to a 9-month conditional prison sentence, while Alexander Lucien Junior Philips and Dornaldo Alexis Wigley now each have a 270-days sentence to their name of which 247 days are suspended. The remaining 23 days they already spent behind bars. The court imposed 3 years of probation on all three men.

Under interrogation, the three defendants all told fantastic stories about how they happened to be in the supermarket that night. Wigley claimed that there had been two men on the roof of the store who asked him to help them. He claims to have helped them put boxes of Desperado beer on the sidewalk. Philips claimed that he had heard a noise in the supermarket, went in through a broken widow and grabbed pampers and baby food for his son. Inside, he claimed, he had happened to see Deshommes. The latter said that he had climbed in through a window and that he just happened to encounter Philips there.

Philips, a 21-year -old carpenter, has a criminal record for an armed robbery that was handled with a conditional dismissal whereby he had to do 150 hours of community service. Philips claims he did the 150 hours, but the court has no record of it. Wigley, a 20-year old Gebe-employee got a conditional dismissal for a case of ill-treatment in 2013, but he never did the 30 hours of community service that would have left him off the hook. Deshommes, a 21-year old Menzies Aviation employee, had no criminal record up to yesterday. He spent 9 days in pretrial detention before he was released.

Prosecutor Tineke Kamps said that the burglary had been more than “a very stupid action” because the young burglars had not only stolen a lot of goods and money, they had also vandalized the store. They cut the wires of the security camera and caused other damages. Five people were involved in the burglary, but two of them escaped. The three defendants were caught red-handed. Wigley had an undisclosed amount of cash in his pockets, mostly in coins. One bag found on him contained 147 dimes.

“I do not know exactly who did what,” prosecutor Kamps said, “But they have all three been inside and they are responsible for everything that happened. She demanded a 12-month conditional sentence and 40 hours of community service against Deshommes and 12 months (with 8 months suspended) plus 40 hours of community service against Philips and Wigley.

Attorney Geert Hatzmann pointed to the young age of his clients and to the risk of what he called criminal infection in case they have to spend more time in jail.

“I prefer a punishment combined with the payment of $1,000 in damages. “That is a better stimulus for changing their lives.”

Judge Paulides agreed with the attorney and noted, “I do not believe that they accidentally met each other there. They have caused a lot of nuisance to a hard-working retailer. This is not just about the theft, it is also about the damages they caused. However, considering their age, I still want to give them a chance.”

Did you like this? Share it:
High-fiving young burglars have to pay damages by

Comments are closed.