Tearful Swedish sunbather recalls savage attack: ‘I thought he was going to kill me’

Woman assaulted while sunbathing in Valletta recalls savage attack in court

A Swedish woman who was attacked and beaten whilst sunbathing near the sea in Valletta last month has told a court that she thought she was going to die at the hands of her assailant.

A tearful Anna Karsbjer described the terror she felt when Frederick Mifsud jumped on her and grabbed her by the head on 28 August, beating her and breaking her nose.

Breaking down in sobs multiple times during her testimony, Karsbjer explained how the incident had left her traumatised and suffering from nightmares.

She recognised the accused in court as the person who had attacked her while she had been speaking to her father on the phone about her mother’s upcoming birthday.

At the time of the unprovoked assault, Karsbjer had been sunbathing when she had noticed a man walking nearby and approaching her. She felt him touching her legs, she said, adding that she had given a running commentary of what was happening to her father.

“When I saw him do this [touch her legs], I told him to keep his distance because of COVID-19 and heard him say something to the effect that he was fishing. He had a small net in his hand. I carried on talking to my dad.

About 30 seconds later, he jumped on top of me...I thought he had tripped and fallen at first.”

“He started to beat me up, with my father still on the line, hearing everything. He was on top of me and I couldn’t do anything because he was holding my hands down.”

Karsbjer struggled at first but then gave up, saying she “thought he was going to either rape me or kill me. I tried to escape but I couldn’t. Then suddenly he stopped and got up and left.”

Testifying before magistrate Nadine Lia, the victim said she then started to call for help and had stopped a passing man “in deep shock.”

After the police arrived and photographed her injuries, she was escorted home. During the night her face started to swell and she had gone to St. James Hospital for some X-rays. She was given medication and warned that her injuries may also impact her eyesight.

Asked by lawyer Marion Camilleri, defence counsel together with lawyer Franco Debono. the woman said that she had only told the man to keep his distance because of the pandemic and had said nothing else.

Asked whether she knew if the man spoke English, Karsbjer said the word “COVID-19” was international and that Mifsud should have understood what she wanted to tell him.

She insisted that she had not been angry at the time, but had simply not wanted the man to be close to her.

During his interrogation, Mifsud had admitted to attacking the woman, the court was told.

Police Inspector Daryl Borg is prosecuting.

The case continues on November 5.

More in Court & Police
Man injured in Gozo incident
Court & Police
Karl Azzopardi
Two arrested in connection with Qawra burglary
Court & Police
Karl Azzopardi
Jordan Azzopardi is denied bail again
Court & Police
Matthew Agius
Drunk burglar picks policeman’s house to rob
Court & Police
Matthew Agius