PHILIPSBURG–A 42-year-old man is facing five years for having chopped a man with a machete on Madrid Road in Dutch Quarter on Mother’s Day, May 12.
The Prosecutor considered attempted manslaughter and possession of a weapon on the public road proven, and called for a five-year prison sentence. Suspect P.A.A. and his lawyer pleaded self-defence. The Judge will give his decision October 2.
The defendant nicknamed “Percy,” who hails from Dominica, confessed that he had chopped the victim, who he said was the leader of a group of three men of Jamaican descent from his neighbourhood.
He said an altercation had started the previous day, apparently about the throwing of bananas at somebody’s house, and at night he was approached by the three men, who had threatened to kill him and had tried to break the front door of his house. He told the Court that they had also broken a window.
The next day he was walking on the street near his house when the group leader wanted to attack him again, after which he used a machete to confront the victim, A. said. However, witnesses did not state that the victim was armed.
The victim was severely injured to both of his hands and his head. He bled profusely and was treated on the scene by paramedics and then transported to St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) for further treatment. The suspect remained unharmed.
According to his neighbours, A. is a known troublemaker who causes a lot of problems in the neighbourhood. However, the Dutch Quarter resident of 10 years claims that he is a “very well-known” farmer.
“I lead a Rasta life and never in my life did I have the need to call the police,” he told the Court, in response to why he had not called the police after the attack at his house.
According to the Prosecution, the suspect’s statements were not supported by any evidence. “This was no case of self-defence anymore. The next day he went outside with a machete and attacked, almost cutting off the victim’s hands,” the Prosecutor said in calling for an attempted-manslaughter conviction.
Attorney-at-law Remco Stomp said that after the nightly attack his client had been in a situation of psychological “force majeure”. “My client lives quietly and in a civilized manner. He is not a blade slinger. … My client did not chop because he wanted revenge, like the Prosecutor said. The victim kept coming on to him and that is why he kept hitting in self-defence,” Stomp said in dismissing the witness’ statements.
According to the lawyer, his client was not guilty of attempted manslaughter, but Stomp said mistreatment with a weapon could be proven. He said that five years would be a “very harsh” punishment for his “peaceful” client, and that the time spent in pre-trial detention should suffice.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/91007-mother-s-day-machete-wielder-facing-5-years