Would-be robbery suspect does not remember a thing

POSTED: 10/18/13 2:16 PM

St. Maarten – Prosecutor Maarten Noordzij demanded a 4-year prison sentence against Sylvester Giovanni M. for an attempted robbery at the Tackling gas station in Cole Bay on April 30. The 20-year-old defendant claimed he does not remember anything. The court will rule on the case on November 6.

To the police the defendant had said: “I went to the parade and I woke up at the police station. I don’t remember anything.”

The gas station attendant told the police that, around 12.30 p.m. on the day of the attempted robbery, he had seen a man hiding in the bushes. He came out of hiding with a balaclava over his head brandishing a gun. The attendant ran inside, followed by the would-be robber who demanded cash from the till. There the attendant managed to grab a disinfectant which he sprayed in his attacker’s eyes. Together with a colleague, he overpowered the young man and managed to hold him down until the police arrived.

Prosecutor  Maarten Noordzij considered that there is ample evidence to justify a conviction. There are witness statements from the two staff members, video footage and of course M. was caught red-handed.

“You only care about your own need to get some easy money,” the prosecutor said. “It seems that you are developing a criminal career and that you are becoming increasingly violent.”

Attorney  Mohamed Aynan said that his client has no idea what has happened and that the young man is using tranquillizers. “There is no convincing evidence that my client did this,” he said, adding that he had been prepared to provide DNA-samples but that this had come to nothing.

Aynan also told the court that officer Bloeiman had intimidated his client at the police station by summoning him to answer questions. “That is a violation of his right to remain silent. My client does not have to cooperate with his own conviction. This is not a rookie police officer, but he did not caution my client.”

The attorney asked the court for a punishment equal to the time he spent since April 30 in pretrial detention or for a conditional sentence with community service.

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