No residence permit for Scary Movie Gang member

POSTED: 09/3/14 4:28 PM

St. Maarten – Scary Movie Gang member Jarvill Omarrie Richardson will not get a temporary residence permit in St. Maarten, even though the 30-year-old has lived on the island since he was just three years old. The Court in First Instance dismissed on Monday morning Richardson’s appeal against the Minister of Justice’s decision to deny him the permit.

Richardson hails from Anguilla and has the British nationality. In 1983, he came to St. Maarten together with his grandmother and an aunt who has the Dutch nationality. He lived in St. Maarten ever since, but without a residence permit because his parents or guardians never bothered to apply for one.

Richardson is currently detained in the Pointe Blanche prison where he serves a 10-year sentence. In July 2009, the Common Court of Justice sentenced him to 10 years, three years more than the sentence handed down by the Court in First Instance in the same year, and one year above the demand by the prosecution.

The court found Richardson guilty of involvement in armed robberies by the so-called Scary Movie Gang. The 12-Meter Challenge Bar, the Beach Plaza Casino, the Coliseum Casino and Prime Distributors were among the targets. The gang also burglarized Klass Electronics twice. Gang members always left a note that read “Scary Movie was here.”

The crimes date back to 2005. On one occasion, Richardson told a female casino cashier, “You fucking bitch, put the money on the counter, fast, fast.”

In April of last year, a social worker put in Richardson’s request for a temporary residence permit. In May, the justice ministry denied it. In its decision, the Justice Minister referred to the 10-year prison sentence and to the fact that Richardson never had legal status in St. Maarten. “It also appears that he never attempted to legalize his presence in St. Maarten.”

Furthermore, the ministry noted that denying the permit does not amount to a violation of the right to respect for family life as mentioned in the European Human Rights Treaty.

Richardson filed an appeal on humanitarian grounds, saying that he is engaged to a Dutch woman and that his life is in St. Maarten.

The ministry declared the appeal unfounded, a decision the court struck down in January of this year.

The court ruled in favor of the Minister of Justice. It took into account the crimes Richardson committed, the fact that the plaintiff did not substantiate that there are more than normal emotional ties with family members living in St. Maarten, and the fact that there is nothing to prevent Richardson from continuing his life in Anguilla. The court agreed with the Minister of Justice that Richardson’s age and his command of the English language must enable him to survive in Anguilla.

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