Back
Register for SMS Alerts
or enter your details manually below...
First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Password:
Hometown:
Birthday:
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.
Existing users
Email
Password
Sorry, we couldn't find those details.
Enter Email
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.

Fancy cap led police to throat-slashing mugger, court told

A vicious mugger who slashed a young woman’s throat for her valuables one year ago was identified by his cap, a court has been told

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
22 August 2017, 3:59pm
The investigation’s big break took place weeks after the incident, when police discovered the cap the assailant was wearing during a search of his home
The investigation’s big break took place weeks after the incident, when police discovered the cap the assailant was wearing during a search of his home
A vicious mugger who slashed a young woman’s throat for her valuables one year ago was identified by his cap, a court has been told.

The compilation of evidence against Rawad Briga Abdelsalam, a 32-year-old quarry worker continued before magistrate Doreen Clarke this afternoon. Briga is accused of the attempted homicide of a 25-year-old woman from Marsaxlokk. The violent mugging took place in Sqaq Lourdes, St Julian’s on 28 August 2016, at around 4:20am.

Abdelsalam is thought to have approached the victim and her friend, a 33-year-old woman from Poland, and tried to steal their handbags. At one point, he is alleged to have pulled a knife on the girls and tried to cut the Maltese woman’s throat, before making off with her handbag. 

The victims were given first aid by passers-by who also called an ambulance. The Maltese woman was then taken to Mater Dei Hospital, where she was treated for serious, although not life-threatening, injuries.

Prosecuting Inspector Saviour Baldacchino summoned a police sergeant from the Criminal Investigation Department to testify. The officer had been one of the first people on the scene and had questioned a number of French nationals who had been spoken to by the victims. “They said that the girls, one of them bleeding heavily, had knocked on their door and asked for help as they had just been robbed.

Inspector Baldacchino also took the witness stand, telling the magistrate how he had started his investigation by gathering CCTV from a number of establishments in the area.

In the course of the investigation, Baldacchino had noticed that an ATM camera had picked up a man who matched the description given by the witnesses. He pieced together the CCTV jigsaw puzzle and took stock of what the man was wearing, he said.

“What was interesting in this footage is what he was wearing. He had a cap with a very particular, striking, design.”

But despite this clue, the police were still no closer to finding the attacker. 

The investigation’s big break took place weeks later, as police searched a house belonging to a man who was suspected of carrying out a similar mugging in Paceville. “As soon as I walked in,” the inspector said, “I noticed this particular cap hanging in the hall.” It was not a commonly-seen design, he said. An intensive search led police to also find a pair of shorts, worn during the attack on the Maltese woman, inside the washing machine, he said.

'I remember there was a great deal of blood', police officer says

Another police officer, stationed at St Julian's at the time of the stabbing took the witness stand. “I remember there was a great deal of blood...There was blood on the wall and the ground. The victim wasn’t there when I arrived, she was already gone.”

During the man’s arraignment, the court had been shown photos taken at the scene of the crime, which showed a blood-stained pavement and a blood-drenched car.

A third witness, a police sergeant, testified this morning, telling the court how Briga had explained to police that he had been with another person behind Axis and had consumed some pills with alcohol before the attack. He had admitted to carrying out the mugging and claimed to have struck the woman with the knife “by mistake,” the officer said. He remembered him saying that he had thrown her mobile phone into the sea, the sergeant added.

The compilation of evidence continues in September.

Lawyer Joseph Ellis appeared for Abdelsalam, filling in for lawyer Francina Abela.

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