Man in €70,000 theft spree from construction sites to finance cocaine addiction

Court hears police say how man with 'good background' went off the rails because of cocaine • Man accused of 21 thefts carried out over the past three months

Man accused of 21 thefts in three months went off the rails because of cocaine addiction
Man accused of 21 thefts in three months went off the rails because of cocaine addiction

A man has been accused of stealing more than €70,000 worth of items from construction sites over a three-month spree starting in November.

Inspectors Saviour Baldacchino, Jonathan Ransley and Colin Sheldon arraigned Joseph Polidano, 49, from Birżebbuġa before Magistrate Charmaine Galea this morning.

Polidano was accused of 21 thefts which were carried out over the past three months in various localities across the islands.

Inspector Ransley explained that the man would rob construction sites of appliances and tools.

Baldacchino said a police raid on his garage discovered some of the stolen items.

Polidano, despite having a criminal record stretching back to the 1990s, had managed to stay out of trouble with the law since then.

The grey-haired accused discussed his case with his lawyers in court before the sitting began, later telling the court that he was unemployed.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia entered a plea of not guilty on the man’s behalf.

Bail was not requested by the defence. Debono said the man was "from a good family".

This was echoed by the inspectors, who said the man had a "good background" and ran a restaurant but then got involved with cocaine and his life went off the rails.

Whilst praising the drug controls in the Corradino Correctional Facility, the lawyer said that "ideally a special institution exists where a person in similar cases could be locked up and immediately helped for drug addiction".

The lawyers declared their client was not requesting bail at this stage and said that "even though one must appreciate CCF's efforts to rehabilitate inmates, what would be ideal is an institution possibly even of a reclusionary nature dedicated and specialised exclusively on treatment and rehabilitation of drug offenders immediately upon admission." The three inspectors said such an institution currently does not exist in malta

The court pointed out that there would be help provided to the man in prison.

The court recommended that the director of CCF take the necessary steps, remanding Polidano in custody.