Serial burglar gets 36 monthsPOSTED: 01/20/15 7:22 PM
St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Gerard Alexander Richardson, known as Davis on the French side of the island, to 36 months of imprisonment for a series of burglaries he committed between March and August of last year, mainly in the Pelican area.
The 49-year-old defendant, a hardcore crack addict, came off lightly because prosecutor Nanouk Lemmers demanded 6 years of imprisonment with deduction of the 96 days he already spent in pretrial detention.
According to the prosecutor, there were more than twenty complaints about burglaries in the Pelican area Richardson is the main suspect in all these cases. He sneaked into houses where doors or windows were open, always at night. “He never damaged anything, but he made people afraid. This is not a nasty man and he says that he is not dangerous but when he stands next to your bed in the middle of the night you feel vulnerable.”
Lemmers said that she had charged Richardson with the cases for which there was the most evidence available and that the defendant has previous convictions for similar crimes. “Shortly after he was released from his last conviction, he started again.”
The prosecutor saw no point in sending Richardson to Turning Point because the last time he went there for treatment it did not end well – he walked out. “A stay at the Pointe Blanche prison will do just fine.”
Attorney Geert Hatzmann thought the demand of 6 years extremely high and he questioned the evidence for some of the charges. “A prison sentence apparently has no effect, so that is only a temporary solution. I propose an 18 month conditional sentence combined with intramural treatment, or extramural treatment combined with community service.”
Judge Paulides concluded that Richardson’s actions had grossly violated people’s feeling of safety and noted that he had previous convictions to his name. “A conditional sentence is now out of the question.” The judge showed some leniency though by cutting the prosecution’s demand in half.