Conditional youth detention for traumatized boy


Court Case by Today Newspaper

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced a 17-year old boy, Kenrick Derrick S. to 6 months of conditional youth detention yesterday. The prosecution charged the boy with three crimes: theft of $1,600 and several gold items from the home of his neighbor, the theft of a ring from a young girl whom he knew and the theft of $10,000 worth of jewelry from the bedroom of his stepmother. Two of the crimes occurred last year, on November 10 and in November respectively, and the last one on July 6 of this year.

The boy told investigators that he had taken the ring from the young girl under pressure from others who had threatened to beat him u if he did not do it. He ripped a necklace from the girl’s neck after which it broke and he made off with a gold ring that was hanging on it.

‘He knew all his victims,” prosecutor Karola van Nie said. She suggested to the court to place the boy for 6 months in youth detention at the Miss Lalie Center, noting that the kid turns 18 in December and that those held at this center cannot be much older than 18.

The prosecutor also suggested to apply the old criminal code which would offer the opportunity to put the boy at the disposal of the government until he turns 21.

Attorney Safira Ibrahim told the court that her client denies he took the $1,600 from his neighbor. “If he had found that money, he would have left the jewelry,” she pointed out. The attorney also noted that her client had taken just three earrings from his stepmother’s bedroom – a far cry from the $10,000 worth of bling-bling the woman had reported as missing to the police. She said that the boy works as a mechanic and that he has not cm mitted other crimes since his release back in July.

Judge Rick Smid, once more brought back from retirement to St. Maarten, considered all the charges proven. “What is more interesting,” he said, “is what we are going to do with this boy. He has a traumatized youth that has resulted in a serious behavioral disorder.”

The judge opted to give the boy a conditional sentence of 6 months of youth detention with 2 years of probation. “If you do anything else during this period, and I see you here again, I’ll lock you up,” he said,

The boy has to follow instructions from the probation office, follow anger management training and if possible go back to school. He will also be under supervision for drug use and he should get help with dealing with the traumas of his youth.