Tee shirt theft results in 11-month prison sentence

POSTED: 10/13/11 12:46 PM

St. Maarten – Gerard Patrice Richards, 31, was sentenced to 11 months imprisonment basically for stealing three tee shirts from Penny’s Department store. That theft in itself was good for a 2-month prison sentence, but Richards also had a conviction from January to his name: 11 months, with 9 months suspended, for a fight at Stephanie’s mini market in Middle region on October 31 of last year.
Richards had been caught stealing a 5 Hour energy drink. In the ensuing fight, the Chinese store owner threw a cup of drain cleaner in his face. The store owner was later acquitted after the court accepted his plea for self defense.
Prosecutor mr. M.L.P. Ridderbeks said that this was “a nice story” but that she did not believe a word of it, considering that Richards has been a regular at the police station since 1995. She also considered that, since his January conviction, the defendant had netted yet another conviction on June 29.
The defendant argued that he had made off with the tee shirts while he was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.
mr. Ridderbeks demanded 3 months for the theft, and execution of the 9-month suspended sentence. “The time for suspended sentences is over,” she said.
Attorney mr. S.R. Bommel disagreed and said that her client needs supervision and help. She asked a suspended sentence for the tee shirt theft and to refrain from executing the suspended sentence. She also asked the court to order her client’s admission to Turning Point for rehab.
mr. Keppels considered the theft proven and she took all of the defendant’s previous convictions into account in her decision. She sentenced Richards to 2 months for the theft and granted the prosecution’s request to execute the suspended sentence. Richards waived his right to appeal.

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