Man, 75, jailed for predatory sexual relationship with girl, 13

Elderly man jailed for five years after court finds him guilty of corrupting and raping a minor in a case which dates back 16 years

A 75-year-old man has been found guilty of corrupting and having sex with a minor, in a case which dates back to 2004
A 75-year-old man has been found guilty of corrupting and having sex with a minor, in a case which dates back to 2004

Guzeppi Magri, 75, from Birzebbugia has been jailed for five years and fined €2,000 after he was found guilty of corrupting and raping a 14-year-old girl in 2004, eventually turning to violence and blackmail to try and keep the relationship under wraps.

The victim had come to know Magri after he leased a property from her father and she had started to work with him.

Aged just 13, the victim had been immediately the focus of the man’s attention and he had groped and sexually abused her, before moving on to full sex a year later.

To make matters worse, when the girl had turned 16, the man had become possessive and accused her of having sex with her school van driver. He then started to pick her up from school himself and beat her. This cycle of violence continued for several years.

When the girl turned 18, Magri had bought her a camera phone and ordered her to take photographs of her whereabouts so he would know she wasn’t with someone else.

The man would hit the victim, who needed stitches above her eye and dental implants to fix the damage he caused. On two occasions, the man had stripped her naked and whipped her with a belt because he suspected that she was having sex with other men. He had also blackmailed the girl, after making a compromising video of her.

In 2004, the victim had gone to buy groceries for her mother, when the accused had spotted her talking to another man. After threatening her over the phone, that night, he had taken her to Dingli cliffs where he beat her with his fists and cut her with a pocketknife on her hip. He had threatened to throw her off the cliffs, saying that she wasn’t going to go home that night and he was going to sleep in prison.

The girl was unable to leave the house for two days after that incident and had finally told her family doctor about the abuse. The doctor had informed the girl’s father, who took her straight to the police station to file a report.

After that day, the accused tried to blackmail the girl, following her and spending hours in front of her family home, leading to an incident where her father had run him over.

Magistrate Ian Farrugia, deciding the case, observed that the accused was 55 years old when he had started his relationship with the 13 year-old girl.

“His actions were cowardly. He used the girl as an object to satisfy his sexual urges. This didn’t appear to have been enough. The accused became possessive and slowly started to control the girl, creating enormous anxiety with his asphyxiating behaviour. His possessiveness led him to exercise absolute control over the girl and he would also beat her. In the end, he had also used violence by means of a knife with which he also wounded her,” the court said.

“The accused knew what he was doing and wanted to do that which he effectively did. For this the accused must pay,” said the court.

In his considerations on punishment, the magistrate said that he had no hesitation in saying that the man’s actions were revolting and condemnable. The abuse committed by Magri should not be allowed to occur in a civil society, he said, adding that the man would now face the full force of the law.

Magri, who appeared for sentencing without a lawyer, was sentenced tofive years of imprisonment and a fine of €2,000. He gave notice of appeal.

Inspector Stephen Gatt prosecuted.

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