Published On: Thu, Oct 19th, 2017

Community service for fencing vacuum cleaners

GREAT BAY – The Court in First Instance sentenced Bryan Leroy Louisy yesterday to a 6-week conditional prison sentence and 120 hours of community service for fencing an air-conditioner, two vacuum cleaners and a weed whacker between September 5 and 15 – the period right after Hurricane Irma.

“Massive looting more threatening than Hurricane Irma”

The 21-year old defendant said that he had bought the items off the street from some youngsters for $170.

He had bought the two vacuum cleaners, he said, because he intends to open a car wash.

Detectives knocked on his door at Ebenezer Road after they had received an anonymous tip about “a warehouse full of stolen goods.”

The public prosecutor asked the court to acquit the defendant of stealing the items but the sentence him for fencing them.

“Stores have been broken into and they have been plundered. Kooyman was one of those stores,” he said. “For some people the massive looting was more threatening than Hurricane Irma. Companies have withdrawn from the island and they never want to have anything to do again with St. Maarten. That is not due to the hurricane but to the looting.”

The prosecutor noted however that the defendant had cooperated with the investigation, that he had been honest about it and that he is a first offender. He demanded an unconditional prison sentence of 6 weeks with deduction of the seven days he spent in pretrial detention.

Attorney Marlon Hart told the court that it is “not so clear” that his client purposely bought the stolen goods.

The judge found that Louisy seemed to take the matter “too lightly,” adding that there is no excuse for his actions. He found nevertheless some leniency, because the judge made the prison sentence conditional and added 120 hours of community service. If Louisy does not do the community service, he’ll have to spend 60 days in jail.