Man pleads guilty to aggravated theft from St. Paul's Bay hotel

The man broke into the hotel at almost 2am and stole €80 from a guest

A thief with a substance abuse problem has pleaded guilty to stealing €80 from a guest at a hotel in St. Paul’s Bay.

Antonio Cvetanoski, 34, from Macedonia, who resides in St. Paul’s Bay was accused of breaking into the hotel at 1:50am on 19 July and committing the theft. The charges were deemed aggravated by the means used and the time it took place at, the court was told.

Cvetanoski, who said he works as a welder, forced his way into the hotel and stole a cash register, which turned out to be empty. He also found and helped himself to the contents of a wallet which contained €80.

Inspector Saviour Baldacchino, prosecuting, presented the court with a copy of CCTV footage of the incident.

Lawyer Victor Bugeja, appearing as legal aid to the accused, entered a guilty plea. The accused reaffirmed his guilt when given the opportunity to change his plea and bound himself to refund the €80 within a week.

In his submissions on punishment, the inspector explained that the accused had drug dependency problems, asking the court to impress upon the accused the serious implications of his actions as otherwise he would be back in court in no time.

On the defence’s part, Bugeja argued that €80 was a trivial sum and that the accused had been under influence of alcohol at the time, conceding that this was not an excuse at law. The accused informed the court that he was on methadone and was attending the detox clinic.

After allowing the parties to approach the bench to discuss the case in private, Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo found Cvetanoski guilty on his own admission and sentenced him to 6 months in jail, suspended for 18 months.