Robbing junk, sentenced to another year in prison

POSTED: 11/25/10 11:28 PM

St. Maarten – At times it sounded entertaining and almost believable, but in the end Michiel Marcelino Kruythoff, a 51-year-old from Curacao with a serious drug and alcohol addiction who has seen the inside of the courthouse numerous times, had to pay the price for an attempted armed robbery at Cost-U-Less on October 8. The Court in First Instance sentenced the defendant to a 1-year prison sentence. The prosecution had demanded 2 years.
Kruythoff’s case took an unexpected turn yesterday afternoon when his attorney Mr. B.P. Hart failed to show up. The talkative defendant said he had no problem to continue without legal counsel., “I have nothing to hide, I’m very honest with you,” he said.
Another peculiarity was that the defendant had been in custody for the past three weeks without legal title.
Being without an attorney, Kruythoff was not about to start splitting hairs over legal issues.
According to the prosecution, the defendant had attempted to leave Cost-U-Less with a DVD-player under his clothing. When he was accosted by a security guard, who had been tipped off by a customer that Kruythoff had slipped the DVD-player under his clothing, a scuffle followed, where by a knife fell from the defendants clothing. When he picked it up from the ground, he was grabbed by two security guards and kept under control until the arrival of the police.
Kruythoff claimed in court that he had taken the DVD-player to the security guard, carrying it under his arm, to ask for the price. But he also said, “I was wrong to go in there, I had no money.”
The defendant said that the knife he carried was for cutting fruit and that he had not threatened the guards with it. Moments later, he told the court, “I’ll be honest with you. Given the opportunity, I would have taken that DVD-player.”
Kruythoff freely admitted that he has “a huge problem” with alcohol and drugs. “Believe me, I want to do better,” he said.
Prosecutor Mr. R. Mud considered theft with the use of violence proven. He described the defendant as a revolving door criminal with a lengthy record. “He was here in March and now we have this again.”
Mr. Mud remarked that the defendant’s condition had actually improved during his stay in the often criticized police cells. “But as soon as he is free, he returns to the old patterns.”
Because there is no possibility to treat the defendant for his addictions in St. Maarten and because the relationship with Brasami in Curacao is unclear since the transition to country status, Mr. Mud saw no other option than to demand a 2 year prison sentence. He formerly asked the court to take Kruythoff into custody, because he was until yesterday behind bars without legal title.
Kruythoff asked the court to give him another chance and that he was prepared to do community service. He also prefers to return to his native Curacao. “I feel like an alien here,” he said.
Prosecutor Mud said that he would attempt to transfer the defendant for the execution of his sentence to the Bon Futuro prison in Curacao.
Judge Mr. M. Keppels considered the charges proven and said she had a 1.5 year prison sentence in mind. For spending too long in a police cell and for having been detained without legal title for three weeks, the Judge granted a 6-month sentence reduction.
She sentenced Kruythoff to 1 year imprisonment, and ordered his arrest. “If you want to work on your addiction problem it is up to you to take the first step,” she told the defendant.

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