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Father accused of allowing 10-year-old daughter to handle phone containing porn

10-year-old found pornographic films on phone her dad allowed her to play with, court hears

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
4 February 2016, 1:54pm
The 10-year-old girl found pornographic films on her dad's mobile phone
The 10-year-old girl found pornographic films on her dad's mobile phone
A 36-year-old man from Rabat has been charged with corrupting his 10-year-old daughter after the girl found pornographic material on a mobile phone which her father had allowed her to play with.

Inspector Joseph Busuttil told Magistrate Neville Camilleri how, in October last year, a young girl had gone to the Rabat police station, accompanied by her mother, and told police that her father had let her use his mobile whilst at home. The 10-year-old had found pornographic films on the device and had given police a clear description of films she had seen, said the inspector.

The child’s parents are not living together and the incident took place when the girl and a friend of hers were at the man’s home, the court heard. Upon being returned to her mother, the girl had told her what had allegedly taken place and was immediately taken to the police station where a report was filed.

The accused, who is not being named by order of the court, pleaded not guilty and his lawyer, Victor Bugeja, requested bail.

The Prosecution objected to this on the grounds that two minors; the daughter and her friend were yet to testify. “At least until these witnesses testify, bail should not be granted,” submitted the inspector.

Bugeja argued that the accused lives in Dwejra, which was already far away from where the prosecution witnesses resided. Although the girl was his daughter, she lived with her mother in a distant town, explained the defence.

“This was not a deliberate act...he could have forgotten that he had saved the films on his phone and then the child took it and found them.”

For the purposes of bail, the court could order the man not to approach the minors or his ex-partner, suggested the lawyer.

The court however, after taking into account the nature of the charges and the accused’s relationship to the victim, denied bail due to the risk of tampering with evidence.

Both prosecution and defence requested a ban on the publication of the names of the accused and the child. The court upheld this request to protect the identity of the minor.

Lawyers Albert Zerafa and Valentina Lattughi appeared in parte civile for the alleged victim.

matthew_agius
Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...