If you follow the news closely, you may remember the torching of the American Crocodile Centers, ACES, in Punta Gorda in September of 2010.
Two years have passed, no one has been criminally charged and the owners, Vince and Cherie Rose have had to relocate to Ladyville.
But they haven't given up: the American couple has maintained throughout that a marauding mob of Toledo villagers burned down their home - and police let them.
For background - you'll need to recall that - the Rash children, Benjamin and Onelia had just gone missing - and somehow, the villagers of San Marcos became seized of the opinion that the Rose's were somehow responsible.
Well, they weren't - but still, their property was burnt to the ground.
And so, the Rose's got a lawyer and sued the government for permitting a riot to ensue which destroyed their property.
Under the Riot Compensation Act, the government is responsible for damages that arise during a riot.
The decision was handed down today in the Supreme Court by Justice Oswell Legall.
He agreed with the Rose's Attorney Agnes Segura - Gillett and found that the government is liable.
She discussed the significance of the judgment with us today:..
Agnes Segura, Rose's Attorney
"The trial in respect of the fire which occurred at the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary went on for a number of days. In fact in the courtroom of Hon. Jutice Legall and it's culminated with a decision this morning with regards to the issue of liability. It was agreed between the parties that the determination would have been made with regards to liability and once liability if liability was establish that we would proceed to deal with the issue of quantum of compensation."
"This morning the court handed down its decision and the decision was that there was a finding that a riot did in fact occur on that September 5th 2010 which resulted in the destruction of the properties of Vincent and Cherie Rose and the structures that constituted the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary."
"Our clients would still have to prove their case with regards to how much will be awarded to them. They had 3 structures on the property; one being their home and two others being guest houses that were used for students who came to study about crocodiles. They also had all of their household possessions destroyed; vehicles etc."
"They would have to establish the values so that compensation can be awarded. We are seeking in Belize dollars about $907,000 plus dollars as compensation. That determination is yet to be made as to how much would be awarded. However what have been determined already are that yes the Rose's properties were destroyed and that they were destroyed as a result of a riotous assembly and as a result the government is responsible to pay compensation to the Rose's."
"The whole reasoning behind the riots compensation act is that the state is deemed to be responsible to ensure that people's properties are safe - that people lives are safe and there were rumors beforehand that the villagers intended to go to burn down the sanctuary to look for the children there. The police indicate that they did all that they could have done to prevent this from occurring. I may not feel that is in fact the case - the Rose's definitely did not feel that the police did all that they should have or could have done and believe that if they had done more the situation may not have escalated to the point where the villagers took matters into their own hands."
In a month's time a decision will be made as to whether the Government or the court should decide the quantum of the award.
The Rose's are seeking over nine hundred thousand dollars for damage to their property.
No criminal charges have ever resulted from this case - and the Rash children's disappearance is still unexplained.
Two and 1/2 weeks prior to the second anniversary of the arson the judge rules: A declaration is granted that a riotous assembly of persons, as defined in section 2 of the Riot Compensation Act Chapter 338 assembled at the claimants' property situated at Water Hole Road, Forest Home village, Toledo District for the purpose of executing a common purpose with violence and without lawful authority used such violence for that purpose to wit: they intentionally set fire and destroyed three houses, furniture, household utensils and other property owned by the claimants. I will now hear the parties on the issue of compensation.
JUDGE OF THE SUPREME COURT Oswell Legall Aug. 17th, 2012