Aggressive youngster gets off light with community service

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By Today Newspaper

GREAT BAY – A 17-year old boy stood trial yesterday in the Court in First Instance for ill-treating his father and his brother and for the possession of ecstasy and marijuana. Currently, the boy is detained at the Miss Lalie Center where he will remain at least until August. If he is released that month, he has 80 hours of community service waiting for him, of which he has to perform 40, or spend 40 days in prison in case of non-compliance.

Judge Yvonne Vanwersch noted that the boy had been unmanageable at the time he committed the violent acts against his family members in May 2015 when he was just 16. The fight with his father started after he’d gone joyriding with his car at 3 a.m. on May 5. Three days later he hit his brother with an iron bar, because his sibling had angered him.

The boy told the police that his aggressive behavior stemmed from the use of ecstasy pills. /when police arrested him on November 10, he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs, a police report states. “That is true,” the youngster admitted to the court.

The boy was already put for two months in the Miss Lalie youth care center last August but after he got caught with drugs in November, the prosecutor’s office obtained a court order to send him back there. The boy was taken to the center in February for a period of six months, with an option for an extension in case his behavior does not improve.

“We urgently need a framework for this boy,” prosecutor Karola van Nie told the court. “The civil measure to put him in the Miss Lalie center was not enough. He is confusing things. It is important that he understands that he can go up to there and no further, and that certain actions are punishable.”

The prosecutor considered the ill-treatment of the father and the brother as well as the drug possession proven. She dropped a third charge for ill-treatment for lack of evidence.

The prosecutor demanded 120 hours of community service, with 60 hours suspended, supervision from the Court of Guardianship and the placement of an ankle bracelet for electronic supervision after his release from the Miss Lalie center.

Judge Vanwersch left it at 80 hours of community service, with 40 hours suspended and supervision buy the Court of Guardianship.