Prosecution demands four years for bedroom robbery attemptPOSTED: 06/30/11 12:39 PM
St. Maarten – Prosecutor mr. M. Overmeer demanded 4 years imprisonment against Wilfred Fernand S.J., 36, for his involvement in a violent robbery attempt on January 20, whereby the victim, a man called Kil who has in the meantime left the island and returned to Brazil, was attacked with guns and knives in his own bedroom. Judge mr. M. Keppels will pronounce her verdict on July 20.
The defendant, known under his nickname Rabbit, allegedly entered the victim’s bedroom armed with a gun and a knife. The victim ended up with stab wounds to his belly and his neck when he fought the intruders who attempted to tie him up.
“It is a nightmare when something like this happens to you,” prosecutor Overmeer said. She said that first one robber had entered the bedroom, threatening the Brazilian with a knife and a gun and demanding money. “Then he made an uncalled joke by telling the victim, Welcome to St. Maarten. But he did not feel welcome at all.”
Then two other robbers entered, but when they tried to tie up the man a struggle ensued and the victim managed to escape and call for help at a neighbor. This neighbor saw the defendant flee the building shortly afterwards. She testified to this effect in court yesterday.
The defendant claimed that he had spent the evening in the Jump Up casino, where he is a regular, but camera footage from the casino contradicts his statements.
Overmeer said that she had included attempted manslaughter on the summons, but that legal jurisprudence combined with lack of clarity about the moment when the victim was stabbed (either by the defendant or by one of the other robbers) led her to conclude that there is only proof for the attempted theft with the use of violence. “The victim could not indicate whether something was stolen; the defendant has been recognized by the neighbor, and he is still under probation. You have not learned anything from prior convictions,” the prosecutor said. “That is why the prosecutor’s office opts for a long prison term.”
Earlier during the hearing when confronted with earlier convictions, the defendant made the rather philosophical remark, “I don’t see what the past has to do with the future.” But the prosecutor saw things differently.
mr. S.R. Bommel said that her client denied his involvement from the start. She said that, in spite of many requests, she had been unable to see the casino’s video footage. “I contest the reliability of those images,” Bommel said. “It occurs that the time and the date on those tapes are incorrect.”
Bommel also contested the witness statements. “It is incomprehensible that she only recognized my client but that she is unable to describe the other robbers. The photo confrontation has not been shown to the victim. That the witness recognized my client is logical, because she knew him?”
mr. Bommel said that the victim thought his attacker was 1.85 meter, while her client is just 1.65.
mr. Overmeer said that the photo confrontation with the victim had not taken place because he returned to Brazil immediately after he was released from the hospital.