Teenager sent to jail for lighter-gun robbery

POSTED: 10/12/12 12:51 PM

GREAT BAY – For an attempt to rob a man on the boardwalk on July 15 of his gold necklace, 18-year old Geoffrey Romeo Orlando Brooks was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment. Of the sentence, 16 months are suspended and when Brooks comes out of prison he has to complete 100 hours of community service.

The defendant should not complain about the Judge  Tamara Tijhuis’ ruling, because prosecutor  Tineke Kamps demanded 30 months imprisonment, with 6 months suspended and 2 years of probation.

Brooks was walking on the boardwalk that day with a girl named Chantal and Kevin L. At a certain moment the boys had sent Chantal home. “They spoke about doing something to get money,” the girl later told the police.

Brooks admitted in court that he had stuff at home that he used to disguise himself. He also had a gun, but he told judge Tijhuis that this was not a fire arm but a lighter-gun – a cigarette lighter in the shape of a gun.

“If you need money why don’t you go and work?” Judge Tijhuis asked the defendant, who replied that he actually had started working as a plumber two weeks before the robbery.

Prosecutor Kamps did not really believe that: “On August 4 you told the police that you had no job.”

The teenager confessed to the robbery, and this, together with the victim’s complaint and the statement from the suspect’s buddy Kevin L. was sufficient for the prosecution to consider the fact proven. “This is a nasty theft because violence was used. You showed the gun, you threatened with it and you hit the victim. Whether it was real or fake is irrelevant. You used it to threaten and to hit. And it was not on the spur of the moment: you went home to pick up your disguise and there was a car at hand for the escape. Those are aggravating circumstances. It does not matter whose idea it was either: you talked about it and you did it together.”

Attorney mr. Brenda Brooks told the court that her client is a first offender. “I wonder whether such a high punishment makes any sense for someone so young. I understand that he needs to be punished. But is this what he deserves for a stupidity? After such a long time in Pointe Blanche his perspectives won’t be good. I ask the court to give him a second chance, because he won’t get it in Pointe Blanche.”

Judge Tijhuis honored that request – but only up to a point.

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