Man charged with robbing 95-year-old at home

Man denied bail after being charged with aggravated theft, assault and recidivism

A man has been remanded in custody after being charged with robbing a 95 year-old man at the victim’s home.

James Demanuele, 46, from Msida was denied bail after being charged with aggravated theft, assault and recidivism after the court ruled that he was not sufficiently trustworthy in view of his 46-page criminal record.

Inspector Jeffrey Scicluna told magistrate Nadine Lia how on 18 October the police were informed that a 95-year-old man had been robbed at his home in Hamrun. Police investigations found that Demanuele knocked on the door and said that he had been sent by a certain priest but had attacked him the minute he was allowed inside. Demanuele allegedly stole some €900 from the old man.

CCTV led to the alleged perpetrator’s identification.

Demanuele was then arrested at the Msida police station, having gone there over a separate report. He was living in a guest house in Msida, the court was told. The clothes seen on the CCTV footage were also found at the guest house.

“I am not guilty” Demanuele replied when asked what he was pleading.

His lawyer, Mark Mifsud Cutajar, asked for bail.

The prosecution objected, arguing that the victim was yet to testify, as well as civilian eyewitness. The accused spends a lot of his time in Hamrun, has no fixed address and had been residing at the guest house for only a month, said inspector Stephen Gulia.

Cutajar argued that the police shouldn’t object due to there being civilian witnesses, but because of the risk of tampering with evidence.

“The risk that the accused does this is low,” added the lawyer, pointing out that the eyewitness hasn’t been identified yet.

The court has tools to order the man to remain at home, concluded the lawyer.

The prosecution added that the accused has no job and could not sustain his guest house stay. His alleged victim was a vulnerable 95-year old and the accused had a 46-page long criminal record.

Bail was denied and Demanuele was remanded in custody.

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