Supermarket robber jailed for nine years

PHILIPSBURG–The Court of First Instance on Wednesday convicted Kendy Pierre (25) to nine years for having committed eleven armed supermarket robberies and for possession of an illegal firearm.

  The suspect denied the charges, but the Prosecutor’s Office called for a nine-year prison sentence for the defendant during the October 18 hearing of this case.

  Pierre was sentenced by the Court on March 2 to 36 months for the role he played in the armed robbery at Budget Marine on Waterfront Road on October 19, 2016.

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  Concerning the 11 other armed robberies, which were committed between July 27 and October 18, 2016, the Prosecutor and Pierre’s lawyer disagreed whether the evidence was sufficient for a conviction. The Judge decided that in 10 of the 11 alleged robberies the evidence was sufficient for a conviction. Pierre was acquitted of involvement in one the robberies.

  All armed robberies were committed in 2016. These concern Old Tree Peking Seafood restaurant (July 27); Wang Jiao supermarket (August 13); Fresh Pond supermarket (August 15); Premier supermarket (August 19); Wah Yun supermarket (August 29); Well Luck supermarket (September 2); Texaco Star Mart (September 9); Quality Foods supermarket (September 17); Best Food supermarket (September 24); Subway restaurant on W.J.A. Nisbeth Road (September 28); and Welcome supermarket (October 18). These robberies yielded a total amount of US $8,210.

  The Prosecutor said the robberies had been committed by the same two persons working with the same modus operandi. One masked robber was posted at the door holding a firearm in each hand while the other emptied the contents of cash registers into a grey backpack. The backpack was found at the suspect’s home during a search.

  Attorney Geert Hatzmann said the investigative team was wrongly tapping their chests in considering these cases proven. He pointed out that the descriptions given of the two suspects were not identical, and said the recognition of his client’s voice was incorrect.

  “Security-video recordings of the robberies are available. On one of these the suspect was recognised by the police. On another the suspect’s car was recognised. Furthermore, there is analogical evidence, meaning that the evidence is based on similarities between the mode of operation in the robberies,” the Court stated in a press release.

  “In these cases, two offenders were involved, one man holding two guns, one black and the other of silver colour. Personnel and clients in the shops were threatened with these guns. In some cases, victims were beaten with one of these guns. The other man took away the money and put it in a grey or black-grey backpack. Such a backpack has been found during a search in the suspect’s house,” the Judge said.

  In sentencing, the Court considered that these crimes were committed by two persons. In some cases, people were hit with a firearm or it was pushed against their heads.

  “The number of robberies is high, and in facts have been committed with great ease, one quickly after the other, as if the robbers were out shopping.” Therefore, the Judge believes there is a risk of the defendant re-offending in the future.

  “For this reason, society needs to be protected against the suspect,” the Court stated. In this light, the acquittal on one of the counts did not influence the severity of the punishment.

Source: The Daily Herald