Prison for the hairdresser’s two assailants in Saint Barth

This morning, two men were presented before the Saint-Martin criminal court for a summary trial. They were accused of having committed a violent gang theft in Saint-Barth.

On October 6, the day before his 28th birthday, MCR was arrested in his home by the Saint-Barthélemy gendarmes. He is suspected of having participated in a violent gang theft three days ago. His roommate and alleged accomplice in the theft, DM, aged 26, was also arrested. The gendarmes were led to them thanks to a third person, the owner of the scooter on which the two authors of the theft escaped.

On 4 October, at around 8:30 pm, while NA, a hairdresser, was returning to his home in Saint-Jean, he was assaulted by two individuals on the parking lot of his residence. “One of them grabbed me from behind and twisted his arm around my neck”, he told the gendarmes. Then he got turned over and was held flat on the ground. They cut the fragment of his bag which used as a shoulder strap with a machete. The victim is in a state of shock. He has been given eight days of temporary disability. However, he was able to confirm that his assailants were both Afro-Caribbeans, that their faces were hidden by caps, and that one of them wore woolen gloves and was stocky. They escaped on a scooter.

During the preliminary investigation, a neighbor was questioned and said he had seen two men lurking five days earlier, two Afro-Carribean men on a scooter, who seemed to be reconnoitering on the same parking lot. The neighbor wrote down the license plate number and gave it to the investigators. That is how they were led to the home of EL, the owner, who explained to them that he lends his scooter to his cocaine dealer, who happens to be DM. Therefore, the gendarmes searched DM’s home, which he shares with MCR.

There, precisely in the rooms that DM and MCR occupy, the gendarmes found some of the items that were stolen from the hairdresser, including two professional hair trimmers. A pair of woolen gloves, two caps with holes and a machete were also discovered. During a second search, the earphones and two bottles of perfume, which were also taken from the hairdresser, were found.

However, the two individuals say they didn’t steal those items. They say that they don’t know where the items came from and that anyone can enter the house. MCR’s fiancée, who lives under the same roof, also claims that she had never seen the hair trimmers in the house before October 4. DM says that he has a job and doesn’t need to steal. Before the judge, he even dared to say: “if I deal drugs, why would I need to steal?”

They both give “far-fetched and contradictory versions”, said the Deputy Prosecutor, Yves Paillard who requested that they get two years in prison.

After deliberation, the court sentenced DM to one year in prison. MCR got one year including a four-month suspended sentence and eighteen months of probation with the obligation to compensate the victim who has joined a civil action to the proceedings, and a prohibition to carry a weapon for five years.

At the end of their 48 hours in custody in Gustavia, they were taken to Saint-Martin on Saturday where the liberties and detention judge delivered a detention warrant against them and placed them in temporary detention. This morning, the court also ordered that they remain in detention. They will, therefore, be transferred to Guadeloupe this afternoon.

DM, the father of four children, has already spent a year and a half in prison for drug dealing. He also got a six-month suspended prison sentence for violent robbery in 2011.

As for MCR, this is his first offense. Born in the Dominican Republic, he recently arrived in French territory in order to receive medical treatment. He is also the father of a child whose mother lives in Saint-Martin. Because of his health problems, he can no longer work in masonry, a field in which he has qualifications. According to the social investigation conducted after his arrest, he wants to create his own hairdressing business.


Estelle Gasnet