Armed burglar who held woman at knifepoint jailed for four years

A man has been sentenced to four years in jail after admitting to two residential burglaries, one of which ended up with a person being robbed at knifepoint

A man has been sentenced to jail after admitting to two residential burglaries, one of which ended up with a person being robbed at knifepoint.

Magistrate Gabriella Vella jailed the man for four years.

Brian Mallia, 46, from Cospicua appeared in court this morning, accused of illegal arrest and theft of cash and jewellery which was aggravated by violence, means, value and place, from a residence in Tarxien on 11 March.

Mallia, who told the court he was unemployed, was also accused of carrying a knife in public without a permit and with attempted aggravated theft from a residence in Cospicua, also on 11 March. He was additionally accused of relapsing.

He pleaded guilty as charged. The court warned that the charges carried a maximum of seven years imprisonment and gave the man time to reconsider.

The prosecution said the man had cooperated and helped the police in solving other crimes, but that they were seeking a prison sentence of around three years. The court suspended the sitting briefly, retiring to chambers to come up with the man’s sentence.

Emerging a few minutes later, the magistrate asked the accused to confirm his plea. “Guilty,” he said again.

The court took into account the man’s criminal record which was peppered with similar convictions. He had not helped himself, despite being given the opportunity to do so. On the other hand, he had cooperated with the police.

The court sentenced the man to four years in prison together with a fine of €116 for the weapon charge. Mallia's lawyer mooted the possibility of an appeal.

Inspectors Lydon Zammit, Stephen Gulia and Paul Camilleri prosecuted.

Lawyer Simon Micallef Stafrace was legal aid counsel to the accused.