PHILIPSBURG–A 25-year-old man with severe aggression problems was sent to prison for six years on Wednesday, after the judge in the Court of First Instance found him guilty of armed robbery, mistreatment and (attempted) burglary.
The court found it proven that Kenrick Kelvin Patricio Brooks had robbed a bus driver of some money and had stabbed the man in his face and chest in the vicinity of Mullet Bay on October 1, 2021. The driver had to be treated in hospital where he received some stitches.
Brooks was also convicted of mistreatment of a person at John Cooper Jose Lake Sr. Ballpark on L.B. Scott Road on November 30, 2021.
In addition, he was charged with a break-in at a home on Peterson Drive and allegedly had stolen electronic devices, among them a PlayStation with games, an Apple MacBook, two tablets and two remote controls, with an estimated total value of US $2,200, on September 29, 2021. On May 4, 2019, he had tried to break into Joshua Rose guesthouse on Back Street.
Brooks, who confessed to the judge that he had difficulty keeping his aggression under control, told the judge that the bus driver owed him $2,000, which he had never paid back.
As to the incident at the ballpark, he said he had mistreated this person for accusing him of selling drugs, an accusation which he vehemently denied. He was angry and aggressive and dealt this person some blows. The victim, who was on his way home from school, was robbed of his backpack and shoes,
“I always have aggression in me. If something triggers me, I’m going to punch,” he explained to the judge.
He denied he had taken anything from the home on Peterson Drive, which was owned by the family who had provided for him and had looked after him.
Brooks has been housed at Mental Health Foundation (MHF) since March 2022, where he resides voluntarily and undergoes training and counselling to deal with his aggression problems.
As to the attempted guesthouse break-in, Brooks stated that he was pressured to commit the burglary by a man he knew only as “O.T.”, who had threatened him at gunpoint. “I decided to go along, because I did not want to die,” he told the judge.
Nothing came of the break-in, as Brooks was caught by the guesthouse owner’s brother, who handed him over to the police.
The Prosecutor’s Office considered all charges proven, but only found the misappropriation of stolen property in the house break-in proven.
The prosecutor called for a six-year prison sentence. She firmly held it against the defendant that he had attacked and stabbed a bus driver on the public road. “In doing so, he has harmed society and the image of St. Maarten, and put the island’s economy and prosperity at risk,” she said.
Attorney Shaira Bommel, who found the prosecutor’s demand “rather high”, pleaded for her client’s full acquittal where the home burglary was concerned, for lack of evidence. The lawyer pleaded for a fully suspended sentence because her client “is doing very well” at MHF and should be able to continue his behavioural change and aggression replacement therapy. Bommel recommended mandatory treatment at MHF in a closed-door setting, with guidance by the Probation Service.
The judge found all charges proven, including the fencing of stolen property in the home burglary, which was offered to a pawnshop on Front Street. A six-year penalty was warranted considering the severity of the crimes, the judge said. Brooks was also ordered to pay $1,619 in damages to the victims of the home burglary. In case of non-compliance, he will have to sit an additional 38 days.
He has 14 days to file an appeal.
Bron: Daily Herald