Young burglars found guilty

Sint Maarten Courthouse


By Today Newspaper

GREAT BAY – The Court in First Instance sentenced Garfield Junior Barnes on Wednesday to 99 days of imprisonment, with 90 days suspended and 3 years of probation for a burglary he committed in a house on the Valley Estate Road on November 14, 2015.

A second defendant, a 15-year old boy, was sentenced to 98 days with 90 days suspended, 3 years of probation and supervision during the probation period by the Court of Guardianship.

While Barnes confessed tio his role in the burglary, the 15-year old boy denied everything. “I klnow nothing about this,’ he said.

The prosecutor noted that Barnes had reported on his own to the police and that he had made a confession. In his statement he implicated his co-defendant and a third person who has not been arrested yet.

The prosecutor expressed her amazement that Barnes was not handed over to the immigration department after the suspension of his pretrial detention, because he has no legal status on the island. His guardian confirmed however that she is in the process of regulating his status.

The court considered the evidence against the 15-year old boy meager, but it found the statements made by Barnes so reliable that it still arrived at a conviction for the youngster.

“I do not believe you,” the judge told the boy. “You are very young, you have committed a crime and you are lying about it. That’s worrisome and it does not promise a lot of good for the future. You need support and supervision.”

The judge told the boy that he is placed under supervision of the Court of Guardianship and that he will have to go to turning point to deal with his drug abuse. “The prosecutor’s demand is very mild. This will not hinder you, because you do not get community service and you do not have to go back to Pointe Blanche.”