ST. EUSTATIUS–Two 16-year-old boys were sentenced by the Court of First Instance on Tuesday to payment of a conditional fine of US $500 for vandalizing a police vehicle on Sugar Apple Road in September 2015.
The Court found it legally and convincingly proven that the two young men had destroyed a headlight of the Police car, had bent and broken a mirror, and had slashed both front tires with a sharp object.
For this crime, the Prosecutor requested the Court to sentence both defendants to payment of conditional fines, on three years’ probation, with 30 hours of community service in the form of a training order (leerstraf).
During the June 14 hearing, the defendants’ lawyer Dagmar Daal called upon the Judge to declare the Prosecutor’s case against her clients inadmissible, or to acquit them of all charges.
The two were initially also charged with breaking and entering of Cool Corner restaurant on September 23, 2015. However, following the Prosecutor’s recommendation, the Court acquitted them of this charge.
The lawyer had called upon the Court to throw out both cases, as the Police had “severely infringed” on the rights of her two minor clients, who were both 15 years old when they were arrested.
Both were lifted off their beds at 6:00am and “ostentatiously” taken to Bonaire, where they were detained for 10 days.
The Judge agreed with the attorney that taken into consideration the suspects’ tender ages and non-existing police records, the Police had “deployed heavily” in making the arrests. Their “direct transfer to Bonaire, where they spent 10 days in pre-trial detention, must have had a great impact,” the Court stated.
The defence’s claims that the suspects were held outside the presence of a parent and had not obtained legal assistance was “based on a misunderstanding,” the Judge explained.
However, considering that the two already spent ten days in pre-trial detention, the Court decided to reduce the probation period by one year.
Source: Daily Herald
Two youngsters get fine for destruction of Police vehicle