PHILIPSBURG--Pedophile Colin Kristensen (63) and corrupt police officer Jerry-Lee Gerardus (46) have received the same sentences on appeal as more than three years ago at First Instance. The years-long suspension of both detentions for medical reasons are no longer necessary, according to the Court, which ordered imprisonment.
The Attorney General had asked the Court for confirmation of Kristensen’s sentence to seven years in prison, and of Gerardus’s sentence to three years in prison and disqualification from the office of police officer for a period of eight years. The Court granted that request.
The sentences have remained the same, even though the Court is of the opinion that it cannot be legally and convincingly proven that Kristensen treated the policeman to dinners, drinks and visits from prostitutes to bribe him. During the hearing of the case, it was established before the Court that the two had built up a mutual friendship, and the gifts should, according to the judges, be considered in that context.
Although there are strong suspicions that Kristensen entered into a friendship with Gerardus precisely because Gerardus was a police officer and he could thus have useful information, there is insufficient evidence that Gerardus’s actions were completely controlled by Kristensen, the Court concluded.
However, it could be proven that Kristensen was guilty of bribery when he bought plane tickets to Curacao for Gerardus and gave him a considerable amount of money. In exchange, Gerardus had to provide information from ongoing police investigations into Kristensen, as well as other confidential information, and he had to make a report falsely.
Kristensen’s false report involved assault, threats and the deliberate disposal of objects by Kristensen’s ex-wife and her new boyfriend. Kristensen had Gerardus record false accusations to get back at his former wife who had found out that he had sexually abused their baby girl.
The mother had gone to the police station in Philipsburg with underwear of her young daughter to prove that it was the same as on the child pornography the police had found on Kristensen’s phone. She had been shocked seeing her little girl and a familiar-looking naked man on a bed sheet which she knew was his.
Investigators established that Kristensen is a paedophile. He loves to watch videos of small children satisfying adults sexually. That gets him excited. He sent one of the child-pornography videos on his phone to a female contact, nicknamed Bella, asking her if she could bring him little girls, Bella later testified to police.
By judgment of February 13, 2019, Kristensen was sentenced to seven years for committing fornication with his minor child; acquiring, possessing and distributing child pornography; assaulting his landlord; possessing 197 grams of cocaine; planned sale of stolen jewellery; provoking forgery; and bribery of an official, police officer Gerardus.
The one-legged Kristensen, whose detention was suspended so that he could get a prosthetic limb in his native Scotland, insists that he is innocent. Prior to the hearing of his case on appeal on June 23, Kristensen had sent the court a letter denying everything except possession of 197 grams of cocaine. The drugs served as painkiller, he explained.
Kristensen is still in Scotland, claiming he suffers from a heart condition and is unable to return to St. Maarten. "It cannot be the case that a suspect permanently avoids detention with reference to medical treatment abroad without making it concrete," the attorney general stated.
The Court shares this view. Also, with regard to Gerardus, who has a neck hernia and underwent surgery in Colombia and Panama. "Whereas in 2018 and 2019 the medical situation of the suspect weighed so heavily that the suspension of his pre-trial detention was indicated, the Court is of the opinion that this situation no longer occurs," the judgment states.
The Court does want to assume that suspects may now have to contend with physical limitations, but it has not been shown that the suspects are incapacitated for detention. Scotland has been asked for Kristensen’s extradition.
This is an old case, the prosecutor said in his closing statement on June 23. “The convictions of Kristensen and Gerardus date from almost three years ago. The fact that the appeal took so long is not only due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has also more to do with Kristensen’s procedural attitude. Defendant ignores the court, he refused to return to St. Maarten when the court determined that medical treatment in Scotland was no longer necessary. That was on December 5, 2019. We are now 2.5 years further.
“There is an extradition procedure because the defendant does not want to come back and that refusal has not only to do with the medical condition of the defendant. His criminal file shows that he uses everything to avoid returning to the Pointe Blanche prison. I have called the defendant unscrupulous before, and I repeat that again.”
The Prosecutor demanded that the sentences would be effectively enforced.