Court jails persistent bail breacher, confiscates €27,000 bond

Man who disobeyed conditions of his release from custody is jailed and loses €27,000 in bail money

A man has been jailed and forfeited a total of €27,000 in bail money after committing a series of breaches of his bail conditions, including one where a police inspector found him casually leaning against a car in Cospicua despite being banned from the area.

Frederick Dalli, 37, from Cospicua, had been granted bail in three separate cases, the latest being in July 2019 when he was accused of harassing and threatening his ex-girlfriend.

But despite the man’s total bail bond being an eye-watering €27,000, this did not stop him from disobeying the conditions of his release from custody.

One of Dalli’s bail conditions stipulated that he was not to enter Cospicua – in fact arrangements had been made for him to sign a bail book in Zabbar – but he had been given permission, on humanitarian grounds, to visit his mother in the town.

Inspector Eman Hayman had told the court that the man had taken advantage of this concession and started to frequent various places in Cospicua and Vittoriosa. He had also started to drive, despite not having a driving licence.

On 20 December 2019, the inspector himself had seen the accused near the Santa Liena tunnel in Cospicua, laughing whilst resting against a car. After receiving a number of other reports that same day he had sent for the man and admonished him, warning him that he was not to visit the town, not even to see his mother, without clearance from the court.

In the new year, the reports of the man being sighted in Cospicua increased and when, on 11 February, he had failed to sign his bail book, the police had arrested him.

Dalli had claimed to have been sick and that he had sent his girlfriend to pass on a medical certificate to the police, but this certificate had never arrived.

Magistrate Victor Axiaq heard several witnesses testify to having seen the accused out and about and getting into fights in Cospicua. He noted the accused had also been lax in his signing of the bail book, having failed to sign on 13 occasions between January and February 2020. “Although it is true that the police should have certain discretion, flexibility and practicality in the enforcement of these conditions, in this case it appears that perhaps the police tolerated too much and were too merciful with the accused.”

The man’s defence counsel had insisted that the prosecutor himself had forced the accused to breach the bail condition regarding Cospicua by allowing him to visit his mother. But the court noted that this had only been allowed on a humanitarian basis and that Inspector Hayman had an no stage given the accused a carte blanche to do as he pleased.

The court pointed out that the ban on his visiting the locality was intended to ensure that the man did not approach his ex-girlfriend and her family.
“Despite being warned in December… the man had persisted in his visits, showing contempt towards not only the authority of the police inspector but also of the court.”

Noting that the law tied his hands in such cases, Magistrate Victor Axiak jailed the man for four months and ordered that his bail bonds, totalling €27,000, be confiscated. The court also ordered that the man be rearrested after serving his prison sentence.

More in Court & Police