Detention condition earns defendant lighter sentence

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Attorney Geert Hatzmann

GREAT BAY – The Common Court of Justice sentenced Florentine Jerome to 18 months of imprisonment and 3 years of probation yesterday. The court made 3 months of the sentence conditional because the 23-year old had spent 2.5 weeks in a police cell where he was not allowed visitors and because of his medical condition. The court found Jerome guilty of firearm possession and fencing a stolen car in October of last year.

The defendant confessed already in the Court in First Instance to the gun possession but he denied fencing the car. “I did not know it was stolen,” he said. The court did not accept this, because Jerome said that he had been unable to register the car in his name and that he could not take it through the technical inspection because the inspection card was missing.

“He knew that the car was not kosher,” solicitor-general Taco Stein told the court. He demanded 18 months of imprisonment, equal to the sentence from the Court in First Instance.

Attorney Geert Hatzmann said that the detention conditions were heavy for his client. “He has been too long at the police station, be it for his own safety, but he was 23 hours per day in his cell and he became suicidal.”

Hatzmann said that his client needed an operation for a swelling in his belly. “It is not urgent, but the pain remains excruciating.”

Noting that the prosecutor’s office had sent away in the past bolita drug smugglers, the attorney suggested to give Jerome a sentence of 24 months with the unconditional part equal to the time he has already served, with 3 years of probation and 240 hours of community service.

The judges did not go along, but they did mitigate the sentence so that Jerome will regain his freedom three months earlier.

In Picture is Attorney Geert Hatzmann.

Source Today Newspaper