Brothers sentenced over 2019 Valletta stabbing

Sylvester and Reginald James pleaded guilty to bodily harm and related charges as part of a plea deal

The two men had assaulted and injured a man during an argument
The two men had assaulted and injured a man during an argument

Two brothers from Hamrun have been sentenced after pleading guilty to charges relating to a stabbing last October.

34 year-old Sylvester James and his brother Reginald, 30, had been charged with attempted grievous bodily harm and breaching the peace in October 2019 after allegedly attacking and slightly injuring a man with a pointed implement during an argument.

At the time, the police had said that an argument had broken out in a block of flats in Valletta and the accused men had gone to assist a friend of theirs who was involved.

Sylvester James was accused of inflicting slight injury and with carrying a sharp or pointed instrument in public without a licence or permission. Reginald James was separately accused of slightly injuring the victim.

Magistrate Nadine Lia heard how the police had been called in by a neighbour and had found smashed children’s toys and blood on the floor. They had also encountered the victim who was covered in blood from a head wound. The victim’s pregnant partner and his children were in shock, the court had noted.

Although they initially denied the charges, the men had later pleaded guilty in a sitting held in July 2020.

In its considerations on punishment, the court took into account the “voluminous” criminal records of the two men, who had wasted numerous chances afforded to them by the courts.

It also took into account the fact that the men’s guilty plea was entered before the court had proceeded to judgment.

The Attorney General and the accused filed a joint application on punishment after reaching a plea deal. The court, taking all of these factors into consideration, jailed Sylvester James for 4 years and fined him €116. Reginald James was placed on probation for 3 years.

In addition, a protection order was issued in favour of the victim and his family for 3 years, prohibiting the guilty men from approaching, contacting, molesting or in any way following the movements of the victim or his family.

Inspector Jeffrey Scicluna prosecuted. Lawyer Frank Cassar was defence counsel.

More in Court & Police