Caribbean Gems robber gets four years

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GREAT BAY – The Court in First Instance sentenced Anthony Nicoy Fisher yesterday to 48 months of imprisonment, with 12 months suspended and 3 years of probation for an armed robbery at the Caribbean Gems jewelry store on December 5 of last year. The judge noted that the defendant’s attorney Geert Hatzmann showed a lack of realism with his suggestion to send the 20-year old defendant home – just three months after the robbery – with a suspended sentence and community service.

“I am sorry for what I have done. I did not mean to do it,’ the defendant told the court yesterday morning. Fisher said that he had been under pressure, out of a job and out of money and with no way to pay his rent.

He entered the jewelry store unmasked with a flare gun that he used to threaten the staff. He stole more than a hundred necklaces and some pendants before he ran out of the store. An off-duty VKS-officer saw him and did not buy his story that somebody had given the jewelry to him.

In 2012, Fisher was sentenced to an 8-month conditional sentence and community service for firearm possession. “That makes matters worse,” the judge observed.

Asked why he had brought a gun, the defendant said, “I did not mean to harm anybody.”

The judge also asked Fisher about his tear drop tattoo. “Some say that this means you have killed somebody,” he observed, but Fisher denied that this is the case.

“Every armed robbery causes a lot of stress and raw fear to the victims,” the public prosecutor told the court. “They do not know whether a gun is real, whether it is loaded or whether a robber is going to use it.”

She considered the charges proven and demanded a 48-month prison sentence with 12 months suspended and 3 years of probation.

Attorney Geert Hatzmann noted that his young client had ruined his school career and that he had started working when he was just nine years old. “It does not help to lock somebody like this up for three or four years,” he said, noting that the 2012 conviction, when Fisher was 12, was a mere prank. Getting a job has proven to be close to impossible because prospective employers perceive the teardrop tattoo as a gang-symbol.

My client has confessed and he has expressed his regrets,” Hatzmann said. “If it were up to me he’ll go tomorrow to the probation office. I suggest a punishment of 365 days with 286 days conditional and 240 hours of community service. He is motivated, because he has already been attacked in the prison. He is on the edge now and there is a risk that he will fall over it.”

The public prosecutor did not agree with the attorney’s proposal: “He has already been under probation for two years and that did not help.”

The judge said that general prevention comes first and that the court has a responsibility to do something by handing down firm sentences against relentless armed robberies. “The prosecutor’s demand fits the circumstances,” the judge concluded.