Court hands down several sentences in relational violence, assault cases

Sint Maarten Courthouse


PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten (OM SXM) – The Court of the First Instance handed down several sentences in cases of relational (domestic) violence, assault, and property damage this week.

A man has received an irrevocable sentence for hitting his companion in the face with a BB gun and kicking her out of a door. Her fingers had caught in the door that he slammed shut behind her.

The Court of the First Instance sentenced the man to community service of sixty hours, of which 40 hours were with a two-year probation. The man’s sentence became irrevocable because neither the sentenced man nor the Prosecutor’s Office appealed the court’s verdict.

In another case of relational violence, an elderly man who had pushed and punched his wife in the throat received a fine of NAf 1,500 with deduction of NAf 50 per day for the days he spent in pre-trial detention. Also imposed was a suspended prison sentence of one month with the special condition of behavioral intervention training related to relational violence.

In a third case, yet another man who constantly threatened his elderly parents verbally and with a knife was sentenced to 180 hours of community service, of which 100 hours were suspended with a two-year probation. As a special condition, he must have compulsory contact with the probation service. This contact may include treatment/medication by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) or outpatient treatment at Turning Point, including cooperating with urine checks. The special condition was applied by the Court because of the man’s mental health and drug use.

A three-month prison sentence with a two-year probation and a community service of 150 days (or 75 days of alternative detention) was meted out to a man for assault with a piece of wood. The sentenced man assaulted another man twice under the misguided suspicion that that victim stole his car battery. The first beating left the victim with an arm broken in two places. Upon the victim’s return from the hospital, he was assaulted again; this time his jaw was dislocated, his eye was hurt and some of this teeth came loose. The sentenced man was also sentences to pay for the victims hospital bills and compensation for the pain the victim endured. In case he doesn’t pay this he will have to undergo 71 days alternative detention.

A scooter rider was sentenced in absentia to 60 hours of community service for assaulting a woman and damaging her car. The assault occurred after the scooter rider hit into the woman’s car as she was leaving a parking lot. The scooter rider was very angry about the collision and pulls the woman’s hair and punches her in the face when she called the police as the accident was not her fault. To escape further harm, she withdrew into her car, however this did not bring an end to the situation. The scooter rider jumped on the car and broke the windshield.

The Prosecutor’s Office OM SXM has noticed an increase in cases of relational violence and assault in the past months. This trend is of continued concern for OM SXM as these kind of cases do not bode well for the community.