PHILIPSBURG–The Court of Appeals on Thursday sentenced a forty-year-old man to eight weeks for threatening and insulting a police officer on duty and for insulting his brother-in-law, on May 19, 2020.
The Court of First Instance sentenced the man to one day, which was equal to the time he had spent in pre-trial detention. The Prosecutor’s Office appealed the sentence and demanded an eight-week sentence.
The three-judge panel in the Court of Appeals found it legally and convincingly proven that the man had insulted his brother-in-law by calling him a “c***sucker” and by threatening a police officer by coughing in the officer’s direction and shouting, “Yes, corona, corona.” It was also found proven that he had resisted his arrest.
The Court of Appeals stated it was “totally unacceptable” that in a time in which society was under a lot of pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic somebody displayed such “provoking and threatening” behaviour.
According to the court, society needs to be protected against such acts, especially when these are committed against an officer of the law.
In imposing a two-month sentence, the court considered that the defendant and the community needed to be warned that such behaviour is “absolutely not” tolerated.
In an unrelated case, a 24-year-old man, skipper of a motorboat, was sentenced to a conditional fine of NAf. 500 for violation of the curfew at 00:45am May 5, 2020.
From April 5, 2020, St. Maarten was under an emergency law due to the outbreak of COVID-19, under which it was prohibited for anyone to be on the public road, the waterways. or in the open air during night-time hours.
“The government has imposed this measure to contain and control the COVID-19 outbreak in St. Maarten. The situation of the suspect was no different from anyone else who had to stay at home – in one place – during this period. The suspect also had to obey the rules and should not have sailed his boat,” the Court stated in the verdict.
The Appeals Court agreed with the solicitor-general that a fine would be a suitable punishment, but considering the suspect’s personal circumstances it was decided to impose a conditional fine with a probation period of three years.
Bron: Daily Herald