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Qormi men accused of street robberies targeting elderly women

Two men were remanded in custody after they were charged in connection with two violent handbag thefts from elderly women

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
2 December 2016, 3:08pm
Stanyer had stolen the handbag, whilst Falzon waited in a Skoda Felicia which was being driven by a third person
Stanyer had stolen the handbag, whilst Falzon waited in a Skoda Felicia which was being driven by a third person
Two men from Qormi had been remanded in custody after they were charged in connection with two violent handbag thefts from elderly women that left both victims injured - one grievously.

Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras heard inspector Fabian Fleri and inspector Kylie Borg explain how Tristan Falzon, 34, of Qormi, had been questioned by police on 12 November in connection with the first incident, but he had denied involvement. Yet, after a mobile phone stolen during another bag-snatch theft from an elderly woman on 20 November appeared to be used with Falzon's number, the police had arrested him.

During his interrogation, Falzon, who is unemployed, had claimed that the mobile had been handed to him by a certain Roderick Stanyer. After Stanyer was arrested and the two men were confronted with each other's versions, it emerged that Stanyer had stolen the handbag, whilst Falzon waited in a Skoda Felicia which was being driven by a third person.

Falzon later corroborated this during further questioning, inspector Fleri explained.

The investigation into the driver of the Skoda Felicia, who was described by eyewitnesses as a woman, is ongoing.

Lawyer Mark Vassallo, for Falzon, asked whether the eyewitness or victims had identified the man in the dock. The victims were on the floor and not in a position to see the accused, he argued.

The prosecution explained that a Polish man who happened to be passing by on his bicycle had witnessed the crime and had identified the accused.

Bail was not requested.

30-year-old Roderick Stanyer, of Qormi, was next in the dock, charged with grievously injuring the 63-year-old victim of the bag-snatch theft in Pjazza Narbona in Qormi on November 12. He was also charged with causing unjustified physical and mental suffering on an elderly person, together with theft aggravated by violence and the age of the victim.

Stanyer's lawyer Christopher Chircop told the court that the accused would not be pleading guilty at this stage and requested bail. This request was objected to by the prosecution on the grounds that the victims were vulnerable due to their age and were are yet to testify, as well as due to the grave nature of the crimes.

The accused has his rights, argued the lawyer, and boasted a “spotlessly clean” criminal record. “He has never had a run-in with the law before and he cooperated with the police investigation,” the lawyer added.

But Stanyer's request for release was denied by the court in view of the serious nature of the charges as well as to avoid the possibility of contamination of evidence.

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