Stubborn young criminal finally sent off to prison

POSTED: 02/23/12 2:24 PM

St. Maarten – Gilbert Chevalier had it coming and there is more on the way. With an 18-month suspended prison sentence to his name, the Court in First Instance sentenced him yesterday morning to 9 months imprisonment for a burglary on March 10 of last year in a house on Little Bay road. The 18-year-old is already in custody since November as a suspect in a robbery at a Front Street jewelry store.

The 18-month suspended sentence stems from an attempted manslaughter charge on E.C. Williams who barely survived the attack. Chevalier was also sentenced for a burglary in a house on Back Street where he stole a laptop, watches and jewelry. Part of the sentence was performing 240 hours of community service and following a mentorship program at the Victorious Living Foundation.

“This is your very last chance. You really have to pay attention to what you are doing,” Judge mr. Monique Keppels told the defendant at the sentencing on January 26 of last year.

But when the judge confronted the defendant yesterday with a report of the Court of Guardianship, it turned out that he had not been paying attention at all.

He did not do his community service and he did not turn up for appointments, and if he did, he showed up hours too late. The young defendant’s excuses came straight from his personal storybook: he was “only a quarter of an hour late,” he had no money for the bus,  he has trouble getting up in the morning and he came only an hour late because he went diving at six o’clock in the morning. Later Chevalier complained about continuous finger pointing. “It’s always Gilbert who did it,” he said.

Prosecutor mr. Bart den Hartigh said that the defendant had admitted to the burglary, that he had been the lookout and that he had received $50 for his efforts. When Chevalier appeared in court on September 22 of last year, he created the impression that he was doing well. “That was reason to adjourn the case,” the prosecutor said. “Unfortunately it appears now that the impression he created was not correct at all. He is absolutely not motivated to honor appointments or to do his community service. He is not on the right track. He has been given chances but time and again he has not taken them.”

The prosecutor demanded 9 months imprisonment.

Chevalier’s attorney mr. Brenda Brooks pointed out that her client was charged with a burglary in a house at Little Bay Road on March 10, while a report states that trace evidence had been secured from a burglary in Fort Willem one week later. “Somebody made a mistake there,” she said, asking the court to acquit her client.

Prosecutor Den Hartigh said that there was an “apparent typo” and that the underlying documents showed clearly that the defendant had been at the house in Little Bay Road.

Judge Keppels considered the charge proven and followed the prosecutor’s demand. “You have been given a number of chances but you did not take them. Somewhere, it stops.”

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