Two violent criminals sent to jail for life

POSTED: 12/16/11 1:13 AM

Richards and Roberts guilty of Regatta-killings, rape, robbery and ill-treatment

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – The atmosphere in the downstairs courtroom at the courthouse in Philipsburg was heavy on Wednesday morning when Judge mr. M. Keppels returned the heaviest possible sentence against Curtley Allison Richards and Sherwan Roberts: life imprisonment for three robberies that ended in manslaughter (the so-called Regatta-killings), a gang-rape, ill-treatment and several violent robberies.
Richards, 32, and Roberts, 20, entered the courtroom under heavy security from the police arrest team with their hands cuffed in a waist restraint. The two men underwent their sentencing in an apparent state of apathy, and they showed no emotion, anger or frustration at all when their life virtually ended with the life sentence.

mr. Shaira Bommel said after the sentencing that she will almost certainly appeal the verdict for her client Sherwan Roberts and that she will go to the Netherlands to examine the possibilities for a psychiatric contra-expertise at the Pieter Baan Center in Utrecht. Richards’ attorney mr. Geert Hatzmann was not present because he had to represent two clients at a trial in Bonaire.
The two defendants were sentenced for the robbery and subsequent manslaughter on Ludovic Guillevin in the night of February 25 to 26, on Eduardo Nova Valdez in the night of March 3 to 4 and on Foidel Luis in the night of March 4 to 5, the repeated rape of a young woman in the night of February 12 to 13, of armed robberies on February 12, the night of February 19 to 20 and February 23, and the ill-treatment of a woman in the night of March 17 to 18.
The details of these crimes have been extensively reported in The Today Newspaper on November 24 and 25.
The court ruled that each man had a specific role during seven of the crimes for which they have now been convicted. “Richards pretended to be a gipsy (cab driver – ed.) and his co-defendant was sitting unobtrusively on the back seat. Once a suitable victim was in the car, the doors were locked and the victim was taken to a remote location and violently robbed, and in one case raped.”

Six men became Richards’ and Roberts’ robbery victims. “Due to the violence they used, three of them lost their life in a horrible way. These victims were beaten, stabbed with a knife and seriously injured with a large stone. The shirt of one victim was set on fire while he was still alive, resulting in third degree burn wounds over 5 percent of his body.”
Richards spent several weeks in the Forensic Observation and Supervision department at the prison in Curacao. Psychologist Van der Vorst reported that the intelligence evaluation showed that Richards “functions on a lower intelligence level than what is expected based on his schooling.”
Richards showed an antisocial personality disorder and he gave the impression that he felt pressured by the situation he was in. But in the section where he was detained he did not seem to suffer from pressure at all, the psychologist noted. “He was especially busy to badmouth his co-defendant Roberts and he put the responsibility for his actions on him. He manipulated prison staff and fellow inmates in a way that does not fit with somebody who function on a low intelligence-level.”

Van der Vorst concluded that Richards functions on a low intelligence level but that he is not insane or retarded, as his attorney Hatzmann suggested during the trial in November. The psychologist also noted that Richards started out with violent robberies but that with each next crime the violence increased while robbing the victims seemed to become less important.

Richards “acted opportunistically to feed his need for alcohol in an easy way. He is addicted to alcohol but that is not a free pass for violent robberies and rape.” The psychologist concluded that Richards is fully responsible for his actions.”
Psychiatrist Matroos went one step further and established that Richards does not suffer from a psychiatric disorder. “There is alcohol addiction and an antisocial personality. He tries to hold his partner responsible for his part in the crimes in every way he can think of. In doing so, he presents himself as a snitch.”

Sherwan Roberts is a different story. The psychologist found in him “psychopathology in the form of a seriously endangered personality development – antisocial development and psychopathic tendencies – and a thinking disorder. His responsibility for the crimes is to some extent limited. This may explain the excessive violence during the robberies and the rape.”
Van der Vorst noted that Roberts had several moments in between the crimes where he could have come to his senses. “But he opted to buy clothing and beer with the money he robbed and to engage again in dangerous situations.”

The psychologist advised psychological or psychiatric treatment, but warned that the perspectives for Roberts are highly unfavorable. “Taking social safety considerations into account I advise a long punishment if the facts are proven.”
Judge Keppels accepted the psychologist’s conclusions and ruled that, in spite of the fact that the defendant is only 20 years of age, life imprisonment is the only fitting punishment.

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Comments (1)


  1. simple mind says:

    They should receive the stiffest penalty prescribed in their jurisdiction.