Man handed suspended sentence after admitting to mobile phone theft

Man who stole mobile phone while drunk is handed down a suspended sentence

The thief returned the mobile phone and admitted the charges
The thief returned the mobile phone and admitted the charges

A man from Moldova has been handed a suspended sentence after he admitted to having stolen a mobile phone, which was later returned to its owner.

Victor Rusu, 22, who lives in St Paul's Bay, was accused of having stolen the phone on 15 June and of having disobeyed police orders.

The court heard how Rusu, who works in construction, has been in Malta for the past three years, and had no previous brushes with the law.

On the night of the incident, Rusu had been out drinking, and had been intoxicated when he stole the phone.

The prosecution said that Rusu had returned the mobile device fully functional, but that its data had been wiped and its SIM card removed.

The defence asked the court to take into consideration the fact that the accused had a clean criminal record, had returned the device, and had admitted he had made a mistake. 

Moreover, the defence requested that the accused be given a suspended sentence, which the prosecution did not object to.

The accused went on to submit a guilty plea.

After taking into consideration the arguments of both sides, the court, presided over by magistrate Nadine Lia, sentenced Rusu to three months in prison, suspended for nine months.

The magistrate also explained to the accused the implications of his suspended sentence, and the consequences he would face if he committed another crime during the period of suspension.

Lawyers Shazoo Ghaznavi and Christian Muscat were defence counsel.

Inspector Clayton Camilleri prosecuted.