For the series of burglaries Prosecutor asked 20 years for Felix Floyd Crawford

June 24, 2016
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GREAT BAY – Prosecutor Karola van Nie demanded 20 years of imprisonment yesterday morning against Felix Floyd C. for a series of nine home burglaries, four armed home robberies, attempted manslaughter on a police officer and firearm and ammunition possession. The court will present an interim-ruling on July 13.

The 38-year old defendant was brought under heavy security into the court room. Outside, the Hendrik Straat next to the courthouse was closed off for all traffic and C. was brought in with a belt around his waist and his hands cuffed close to his sides. He remained like that all through the court hearing that lasted until the early afternoon.

The prosecution has charged C. with nine home burglaries, committed between December 31 2010, and October 21, 2015; the targeted homes are located on Okra Drive, Reward Road, Pumpkin Road, Nevis Drive, Okra Road, Date Mussel Road, Blue Bell Drive and Touch Me Not Road.

The burglary at Date Mussel road, committed on October 17, 2011 stands out, because this was the house of former Chief Commissioner Peter de Witte. C. stole the chief commissioner’s service weapon, a Walther P5, ammunition, jewelry and $13,000 in cash.

The armed robberies took place in 2011 and 2015 at the Touch Me Not Road, the Port of Spain Drive, the Celsius Street, the Calabas Drive and the Pointsetta Road. On September 24, 2015, C. robbed two homes on the Pointsetta Road, but there he ran into a police officer. Making his escape, C. fired shots in the direction of the policeman, and that set him up for an attempted manslaughter charge.

Prosecutor Van Nie said that there have been 28 armed home robberies in 2015. She described the defendant as armed and dangerous, but also as persistent and goal-oriented. “He knows what he is doing,” she said.

He is illegally in St. Maarten and he is illiterate. He has six children and he told the court that his children are the most important in his life. That did not stop him to commit armed robberies in homes where small children were present.

Most of the robberies were committed during the day. All homes were on the outskirts of neighborhoods. At all places where C. stole stuff – mostly electronics and cash – he went into the fridge, took a drink and left the bottle on the sink. That is where investigators found his DNA.

The prosecutor considered all charges proven and told the court that the defendant is wanted in Antigua for armed robberies. She announced that the prosecutor’s office will in a later stadium come with a demand to seize assets from the defendant.

Attorney Sjamira Roseburg asked the court to acquit her client of several burglaries for lack of evidence and of the attempted manslaughter. “There was no intention to kill the police officer. The weapon went off accidentally,” she said. “That happens. He had just committed a burglary and he had his hands full while he attempted to get away.”

Roseburg furthermore said that it is impossible to establish what really has been stolen from the homes. “Victims mention anything to the police that they are unable to find,” she said.

Roseburg objected to the way het client was brought into court. “Like a monster. He cannot use his hands to express himself when he speaks; he has been sitting here handcuffed all morning  and he has been described as a man without a conscience. This is not hardened criminal; he is also a human being. He only stole to survive.”

SOURCE: Today Newspaper

PHOTO: 721 News


the shocking story of Garnett Street murder/suicide

November 26, 2013

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Renuka Chattergoon (left) with her mother Siromani and brother

KNO – GUYANA – Relatives of 42-year-old Siromani Lokhnauth are convinced that her husband, Ramdat, carefully planned the murder/suicide and lured the woman back to Guyana.
The woman’s relatives also slammed reports that suggested that she was a “money grabber”.
Lokhnauth’s daughter, Renuka Chattergoon, who flew into Guyana from the United States of America immediately after her mother’s death, told this newspaper that from all indications her stepfather premeditated his act.
“He premeditated…because two days before, you make your will and then, apart from that, from what I understand…he even told his son that he had a grey suit and if anything should happen to him, he wanted to be buried in that.
“I hear it around the wake and I wouldn’t put that past my stepdad because, that’s the type of person he is. He sits, he plans and then he executes,” Chattergoon said.
The woman’s family only learnt about the will when an attorney who was representing Lokhnauth’s husband, informed them after his death.
Ramdat Lookhnauth, called ‘Moses’ used his licenced pistol to kill his wife while she was apparently asleep at their Garnett Street, Campbellville home and then turned the weapon on himself.
It was the second murder suicide in Georgetown for the month. There was a similar incident on November 11 when 21-year-old Kenroy Crandon slit his lover Bibi Sharriza’s throat, before taking his own life.
Renuka Chattergoon said that she is convinced that her stepfather was very possessive, judging from the extreme measure he took after his wife apparently refused to make up with him.
“That was not a heroic thing he did. Think about it; you shoot two kids’ mom and then, do you have the stomach to watch them in the face and say ‘I took your mom’? I believe the reason he shot himself is not because he wanted to be dead the same time she’s dead; it is because maybe reality hit him. I don’t know if his demons started raising and it was talking to him, because he had a lot of demons,” the dead woman’s daughter said.
She was very upset by the picture that was painted of her mother, claiming that it was irresponsible for persons to publish false details about her mother’s relationship with her husband.
“My mom wasn’t fighting for $75 million or a whole lot of money. My stepfather was the one who asked for a divorce because he said she was running down the business and all of that. But my mom was the brains of the business.”
“In the newspaper they said that my mother walked out on my dad; that’s not true.”
This newspaper had reported that friends of the now dead businessman said that he had worked his way up from a shop in the market.
“I sense this boy Moses was provoked. She was just evil. Money fly to she head. She just vicious,” a friend had claimed.
However, Chattergoon refuted this. “Everybody’s assumption was that she was leaving for money. People feel money is always the reason, but not in everybody’s case. My mom’s reason for leaving is because she thought that she deserved better.”
She said that her mother was even settling for less than she deserved in the divorce settlement with her husband.
According to Chattergoon, her mother was supposed to be given half of the assets that she and her husband owned.
But the husband had claimed that he did not have the resources to give her her share of the assets.  Siromani Lokhnauth, called Nadia, eventually settled for quarter.
“Everything in that house was built to her specification…without her it wouldn’t have been there. Yet she was walking away. She thought it was the smartest thing to do because of the many threats that she got,” Chattergoon stated.
The woman explained that after her stepfather’s loan application was turned down at one bank, he sought her mother’s help to secure it from another bank.
She said that the man even begged her to convince her mother to help him.
“My stepfather called us in the States no less than fifteen times a day, so you can tell that he was possessive…but my mother would tell him, ‘Moses, there is no love left in me for you and I believe that got to him,” Chattergoon told Kaieteur News.
But why did her mother trust her stepfather so much as to go out with him, have lunch and dinner with him and then go home with him, when in fact she was scheduled to stay at a relative on the East Coast of Demerara during her stay in Guyana.
“She probably did that because he was going to everyone, asking them to beg her to take him back. It probably placed her on a guilt trip and she let her guard down.”
Another thing that upset Chattergoon was the report that her mother had received flowers from another man whom her husband suspected was her lover.
“I don’t know where they cooked that up from, but I can tell you that the person that they may have believed that she was seeing is none other than a pastor that was helping us find an apartment in the States,” Chattergoon explained.
“This guy, he is very old. You can’t put my mom with him. He’s like a father figure. My stepfather knew this man as well,” she added.
She admitted that the murder of her mother and her stepfather’s suicide did surprise her although there were signs that the man was volatile and was potentially violent.


Might be good news for Omar Jones and Carlos Richardson – Life sentence without perspective inhumane

July 20, 2013
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Omar Jones-TSXM

TSXM – GREAT BAY – The Large Chamber of the European Court for the protection of Human Rights has ruled last week on the case of three British inmates that are serving life sentences. The ruling is important for imposing and executing life sentences in the Netherlands – and by extension in St. Maarten. The ruling could influence the appeals of Omar Jones and Carlos Richardson who are currently serving life sentences for a spate of murders in 2011.

According to the Human rights Court it must be possible to shorten a life sentence and it must also offer a perspective on release. In the Netherlands, as in St,. Maarten, convicts with a life sentence are able to ask for a pardon. The Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten and his State Secretary Fred Teeven are of the opinion that convicts with a life sentence cannot return to freedom unless they obtain a pardon and that in principle a life sentence must literally last a lifetime. According to Opstelten and Teeven nothing is done about re-socializing lifers during the execution of their sentence.

The Dutch Legal Newspaper wrote last week about the ruling that the court’s considerations give reason to assume that the Dutch execution policy violates article 3 of the European Human Rights Treaty. “Even imposing a life sentence has thereby become questionable,” the newspaper wrote.

To ensure that it is possible to shorten life sentences and to offer convicts a perspective on their freedom the state has to have dedicated mechanisms in place. This procedure must be in place at the time when the court imposes the life sentence. “If this is not the case then the punishment violates from the beginning the ban on inhumane treatment,” the paper reported.

The court bases its position on two grounds. The first one is that a punishment without perspective carries the risk that the convict cannot do penance for what he did wrong; whatever he does, in whatever way he develops, it does not offer him relief. On the contrary, the court noted, the punishment becomes heavier as time goes by. It is hardly  possible to reconcile this with the principle of proportionality.

The Human Rights Court furthermore agrees with the German Constitutional court that a life sentence without perspective violates the human dignity.

The court writes in its ruling that most European countries apply the principle of re-socialization with the execution of life sentences. These countries have a procedure to review the punishment and they apply it. In St. Maarten the parliament took article 28 out of the new penal code. This article gave convicts with a life sentence the right to a review of their sentence after twenty years. The Constitutional Court is currently contemplating whether omitting the article violates the constitution.

The Common Court of Justice already mitigated the life sentences of the two Regatta-killers last year to 30 years because it felt that the political climate in St. Maarten offered no perspective to convicts with a life sentence.

The Human Rights Court notes that the principle of re-socialization is internationally accepted. “This means that during the execution the possibility of re-socialization must be offered.”

The three British lifers who took their case to the Human Rights Court have only two options for a shortened sentence: they have to be terminally ill, or they must have a severe physical handicap. While it is also possible to grant a pardon on other grounds, these are not anchored in British law. It is therefore uncertain whether, and if so when, they would qualify for release based on these grounds. According to the Human Rights Court this offers insufficient legal security to speak of the required possibility to shorten their sentence.


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