PHILIPSBURG–The Court of First Instance will present its ruling in a case of armed robbery during the criminal sitting of Wednesday, April 1.
O.D.G. (29) and J.S.F. (19) are both suspects in the robbery of Dragon Garden Chinese restaurant on October 4, 2019, during which firearms were pointed at persons in the establishment. They are also charged with illegal firearm possession.
Both defendants confessed to the alleged crimes, which they committed together with a third suspect whom they declined to identify and who is still on the run.
F. is being held as an accomplice, as he was the driver of the vehicle that was used in the robbery, the prosecutor said in requesting a prison sentence of four years.
“You dragged somebody else into this and stayed in the car safety. What does that say about you?” the judge wanted to know.
G., who had read out a statement in which he offered the court his apologies for his actions, during a preliminary hearing of this case which took place on February 12, is facing five years’ imprisonment.
In the statement, G. said he had been under “bad influence” and that he had “let down” himself and his family in committing the robbery.
Asked by the judge whether he would be willing to speak with the victims and offer his apologies, he responded affirmatively. However, the prosecutor said Wednesday that the victims had declined to meet with their foe.
With their hands cuffed, both defendants were charged with having stolen US $160 from the cash register and a number of UTS telephone cards. They were also charged with illegal firearm possession and F. also with possession of a knife during a school fight at Milton Peters College on October 23, 2019.
On two occasions in 2016, F. was sentenced to suspended juvenile detention, the Prosecutor informed the court.
Both suspects, who held jobs working at a well-known restaurant, were caught after they used stolen telephone cards to top up the balances on their mobile phones.
In her client’s defence, attorney-at-law Sjamira Roseburg said G. had been “dragged” into committing the robbery, which the lawyer described as a “stupid action.” She said her client regretted the incident and that prison time was not the right solution.
F.’s lawyer Geert Hatzmann contested the prosecutor’s demand for his client, stating that the requested prison time had made him “cry.” The lawyer said his client had made a bad choice. F. already spent five months in pre-trial detention and had spent too long at the police station. According to his lawyer, F. should receive a suspended prison sentence with community service, as he should be working and return to school.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/chinese-restaurant-robbers-facing-five-and-four-years