Brothers with long criminal history jailed over arson attack on sibling’s car

Two men have been jailed for four years after the court finds them guilty of setting their brother’s car on fire

The court has sentenced two brothers to four years jail after they tried to burn their brother's car
The court has sentenced two brothers to four years jail after they tried to burn their brother's car

Two brothers from Żejtun have been jailed for four years after being found guilty of setting their brother’s car on fire.

The incident in question took place on 5 March last year at around 4:30am in the context of a family argument.

The prosecution told the court that it was not the first time that the pair, Roderick and Errol Grech, 35 and 40, respectively, had been involved in family disputes.

The Grech brothers were convicted of setting a Volkswagen Golf belonging to their brother Rosario on fire.

The family has a long and colourful criminal history.

Roderick Grech was found guilty of recidivism, having been convicted of assaulting his other brother, Errol in 2014. Errol, on the other hand, also has convictions for violence against his brother Roderick and his father in 2014, as well as theft aggravated by violence and driving offences.

The court, presided by Magistrate Nadine Lia noted that Rosario Grech had wanted to withdraw his criminal complaint, some five months into the proceedings, but said this was not possible.

Senior Inspector Trevor Micallef had testified that the victim was scared of his brothers.

The victim had heard noises from the street outside that night, going out of the house to check and finding his windscreen smashed and a mirror broken. A short while later he had seen his brothers trying to set his car’s passenger seat alight and had shouted at them before putting out the fire. The two men had fled but were then arrested.

Both accused men had denied arson.

The court, having seen the evidence, found them guilty. It observed that the motive for the criminal acts was “entirely capricious” and that the men had squandered several previous court-given opportunities to change their criminal ways. They had repeatedly chosen to harm other persons, in particular, members of their own family.

Magistrate Lia said she needed to not only see the reformative aspect when awarding punishment, but must also balance the gravity of the crime and the protection of society at large. The accused could not be allowed to take the law into their own hands in this way and so opted to impose a sentence of incarceration.

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