Attorney-at-law Norbert Hijmans
TDH – PHILIPSBURG –The Court did not show much understanding for attorney-at-law Norbert Hijmans, who had caused a one-sided traffic accident while under the influence of alcohol on March 14. He had also resisted arrest.
The 68-year-old lawyer was sentenced Friday to one week suspended, on two years’ probation, a NAf. 2,500 fine and a nine-month revocation of his driver’s license, six of which were suspended, on two years’ probation.
After the three-hour hearing, Judge H.J. van Kooten found it not legally and convincingly proven that the husband of Prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp had also injured one of the arresting police officers by giving him a knee to his groin.
Hijmans admitted he had been under the influence of alcohol after he had at least consumed eight glasses during a wine tasting. A test revealed a blood alcohol level of 1.9.
While driving towards his home in Pointe Blanche, Hijmans drove his Jeep Wrangler into a ditch near the Belair roundabout.
The three police officers, who had arrived on the scene, were heard as witnesses during Friday’s court hearing upon the defence’s request.
All three officers told the Judge that Hijmans had been severely intoxicated. They said he became aggressive while they were leading him towards one of the police vehicles, after which he kneed one of them in the groin.
The officer in question said he initially had the intention to escort the lawyer to his home. The officers changed their mind when Hijmans turned aggressive, after which he was handcuffed, arrested and taken to the police station.
The police officer said the kick had caused pain and had led to injury.
Hijmans told the Court he had no recollection at all of what had transpired that night after the wine tasting.
He said this type of amnesia had happened to him once before after a reunion in 2000, which had also involved the consumption of a large amount of alcoholic beverages.
“That time, I woke up in hospital without any recollection of what had happened,” Hijmans said, but he denied he was an alcoholic.
“This should never have happened,” Hijmans said of the March-incident, which made him lose his job at Van Eps, Kunneman, Van Doorne law office and which had brought his wife, who is employed at the Prosecutor’s Office, in an awkward position.
The lawyer offered his apologies to the police officer, who had been the victim of his aggression, during the court hearing.
Prosecutor Guillano Schoop, who had been flown in from Curaçao to represent the Prosecutor’s Office in this case, considered Hijmans guilty as charged.
The Prosecutor pointed out that the defendant, who himself had been an acting judge in The Netherlands, should have known better. He took into account that the lawyer was a first offender and that his case had attracted a lot of media attention.
Weighing all aspects of this case, the Prosecutor requested two weeks suspended, on two years’ probation; a NAf. 2,500 fine (or 50 days in jail, in case of non-compliance) and a nine-month revocation of the driver’s license, six of which were to be suspended.
Attorney-at-law Geert Hatzmann contested that his client’s violent behaviour had led to injuries and asked for an acquittal on this charge. He suggested community service as an alternative punishment.