PHILIPSBURG–Five young suspects ranging in age from eighteen to 21 years stood trial Wednesday on armed robbery charges. The Prosecutor called for twelve and ten-year prison sentences for the three main suspects in this case. All defendants will learn their fate January 10, 2018.
Main suspects D.R.W. (21) and A.D.H. (18) heard the Prosecutor demand 12-year prison sentences during the full-day Court hearing.
A.D.H. was not yet 18 when he committed the alleged crimes, but the Prosecutor said he committed six crimes in four months’ time, proving he already was a “hardened” criminal.
D.R.W. and A.D.H. are both suspected of involvement in an armed robbery committed at a home on Agate Road in Pelican on December 7, 2016. During the robbery the victim was tied up, beaten, and threatened with a firearm. Several goods were stolen among which were the victim’s car, bank cards and credit cards. “He was the hardened one,” the victim reportedly had told the police about A.D.H.
The two were also charged with deprivation of the victim’s liberty and with being an accomplice to the theft of money from the victim’s bank account with use of the stolen cards.
The duo are also suspects in the armed robbery of Yan Yang supermarket in Sucker Garden on January 23, around 1:45pm, during which US $600 and two cell phones were stolen.
One day later, Wah Yung supermarket in Cole Bay was robbed of US $100 from the cash register, while a customer’s gold watch, chain and ring, and a wallet containing 800 euros, US $500 and credit cards were taken.
D.R.W. and A.D.H. were both arrested January 27 during an armed robbery at Fai Wang Chinese restaurant in Cole Bay, during which three suspects were caught red-handed after a shootout with the police.
The Prosecutor’s Office called for a 10-year sentence against suspect B.B. (20) for his role in the Pelican robbery. He is also suspected of having taken part in the violent armed robbery of two Dutch tourists on Kim Sha beach on January 22.
He was also charged with theft, violence and extortion in an attempted robbery at Boardwalk Boulevard on March 4. The Prosecutor, however, called for the suspect’s acquittal for this alleged crime, but considered the use of a knuckleduster and mistreatment proven.
Suspects J.S.V. (19) and A.A.G. (17) played minor roles in the alleged crimes, according to the Prosecutor. J.S.V. is considered an accomplice in the supermarket and restaurant robberies. The Prosecutor’s Office is holding him as the driver of the getaway car and not for one of the robbers. For these crimes, the Prosecutor called for a three-year sentence.
The Prosecutor’s Office called upon the Court to sentence the youngest defendant, who was 16 years old when the alleged crimes were committed, to 18 months youth detention, six months of which are to be suspended, on two years’ probation.
All suspects were also charged with possession of several firearms between December 7, 2016, and January 22.
The Prosecutor said the victim in the 30 to 45-minute violent armed robbery in Pelican should be awarded damages to the tune of US $21,623, as well as US $3,000 in immaterial damages. The Prosecutor’s Office also demanded a dispossession claim of US $2,334 for all suspects.
Attorney Safira Ibrahim called upon the Court to give D.R.W. and A.D.H. a considerable reduction on their sentences as they had been severely mistreated by the police during their arrest. The lawyer claimed her unarmed clients had not only been hit by police fire, but were also slapped, beaten and bruised after they had been worked to the ground.
She stated that all her clients, including J.S.V, should be acquitted of involvement in the supermarket robberies, and said there was insufficient evidence to link them to the Pelican robbery.
The lawyer also pleaded not-guilty on illegal firearm charges, and said the Prosecutor’s claim that A.D.H. had played a leading role in the alleged crimes was not sustained by any evidence from the casefile.
Ibrahim said the claims for damages and dispossession should be declined as these were insufficiently substantiated and were not supported by any invoices. The lawyer also wondered who would pay for J.S.V.’s damaged Jeep and for her clients’ medical bills.
Her colleague Sjamira Roseburg was critical of the “messy” state B.B.’s casefile was in. Her client was charged with nine counts, but Roseburg said her client’s file only consists of “loose threads.” According to Roseburg, only one of the charges against her client could be proven, which is the possession of brass-knuckles.
She called on the Court to reject the damages claims, also where her other client A.A.G. is concerned. The lawyer said the young defendant could only be held for an accomplice to the armed Pelican robbery, as he had been on the lookout and had played a minor role, compared with his co-suspects.
Roseburg called on the Court not to follow the Prosecutor’s recommendation and to sentence her client to a conditional sentence with community service.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/72077-armed-robbery-suspects-to-learn-their-fate-january-10