Mad father gets off light for ill-treating girlfriend

POSTED: 11/22/12 1:21 PM

St. Maarten – Leonard Anthony Henry definitely had a bad hair day on July 17 when his ex-girlfriend came to pick up their two children. When the girl announced she had a new friend, Henry got mad. In the ensuing argument he threatened the girl with a piece of re-bar, threw her on the ground and chased her in a neighbor’s house with a knife. Prosecutor Georges van den Eshof demanded 36 months imprisonment with 12 months suspended, 2 years probation and supervision by the Rehabilitation Bureau. But when everything was said and done, Judge Tamara Tijhuis sentenced Henry to the delight of his attorney Michael Snijder a 15 month completely conditional prison sentence, with 2 years of probation, supervision by the Rehabilitation Bureau and 200 hours of community service.

Prosecutor Van den Eshof said that Henry saw red and that there has been a pattern of violence in the relationship. “The defendant is giving a euphemistic version of the facts. He pushed the girl against the ground and hit her. Witnesses did not see that he hit her with the re-bar, as the victim has claimed.”

When the girl fled into the neighbor’s house, Henry came after her with a knife. A fight ensued in a bedroom where the neighbors’ just born baby was sleeping. “I’m gonna kill you. If I can’t have you nobody will have you, and I’m gonna kill you and kill myself afterwards,” where words the defendant allegedly used.

According to the prosecutor the girl deflected a stabbing movement by the defendant with her hands.

Attorney Snijder said that there is no proof that his client hit the girl with the re-bar, or that he had made stabbing movements with the knife. “The victim has made unsound and contradictory statements.” He asked the court to consider that Henry is supporting his children and his ex-girlfriend financially and that they would all suffer from a prison sentence.

Judge Tijhuis considered making threats with the re-bar and ill-treatment proven. For the most serious charge, the knife-attack in the bedroom, there are not witnesses. “I agree with the attorney that the victim’s injuries do not tally with her statement; and that is incorrect on other points as well.”

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