PHILIPSBURG – The Court in First Instance sentenced a 17-year old boy on Wednesday to 40 hours of conditional community service and imposed 1 year of probation. The boy had fooled around with a pellet gun on Poinsettia Road on November 25 of last year; one of the pellets hit one of his friends in his arm.
“That’s assault, using a weapon,” the public prosecutor said.
But a social worker from the Court of Guardianship described the incident as ‘mischief.’
The boy’s parents were present in court and the boy read a letter he had written to his victim. It also appeared that he had personally apologized for his actions. “We are good now,” he told the court.
“This is a stupid situation, firing bullets at someone else” the public prosecutor noted. “There was no grievous bodily harm, but legally it is assault with a weapon; and you carried a bb-gun.”
The prosecutor saw the unfortunate incident as mischief. “It is positive that you wrote that letter and that you apologized,” he told the timid teen. I think that you have learned your lesson.” He demanded 40 hours of community service, wholly conditional, with 1 year of probation.
“It was never my client’s intention to harm his friend Simani,” attorney Sjamira Roseburg told the court. “I am proud that he wrote that letter and that he apologized. He knows that what he did was wrong. The detention at the police station has traumatized him. That was unnecessary. I think that a judicial pardon is enough.”
The public prosecutor reacted to the attorney, saying that his office wants to put a stop to detaining young suspects at the police station. “As long as the government does not provide a facility it may happen in the future that we will send them home even though we have the feeling that they should be locked up.”
The court considered ill-treatment and the possession of a weapon proven. The judge acknowledged the positive vibes around the youngster. “But that does not mean that you do not deserve punishment,” he said. “The two days that you were locked up were a punishment, but to the victim must also be clear that punishment follows.”
The judge followed the proposal by the public prosecutor: 40 hours of community service, wholly conditional.
Source: StMaartenNews http://stmaartennews.com/judicial/boy-shows-remorse-shots-pellet-gun/