Accused in Zejtun shooting had previously made death threats, court told

A magistrate has heard a police inspector explain how a man accused of shooting at a Zejtun front door had previously threatened to kill the occupant

A magistrate has heard a police inspector explain how a man accused of shooting at a Zejtun front door had previously threatened to kill the occupant.

Magistrate Marseanne Farrugia presided as the compilation of evidence against Errol Grech continued this morning. Grech is facing serious charges, including unlawful possession of the weapon, carrying it within 200 metres of a residential area, firing the gun, causing the alleged victim to fear violence, harassment, insulting and threatening the victim beyond the limits of provocation.

The magistrate heard police Inspector Melvyn Camilleri testify how the Zejtun police station had received a report from Grech’s would-be victim on 18 July. The man had reported criminal damage to his Alfa Romeo, said the inspector, adding that the police had investigated but hadn’t arrived at the culprit at that stage.

On the 21 July, the man had gone to the police again to report that just a few minutes before, he had been involved in an incident with Grech, who, he said, had threatened to kill him.

Grech was taken to the police station for questioning but had downplayed the matter, saying it was “all jokes” and that he had no problems with anyone.

On 24 July, the parte civile went to the police station again, this time claiming he had found damages to a door in his field.

Then, on 5th August, the man had reported damages to his front door, which appeared to have been caused by a shotgun blast. He had handed CCTV footage to the police showing that at 2:15am that morning, a car had stopped outside his house and switched on its hazard lights, partially blinding the CCTV system. A shot was fired from the car, which despite the hazard lights rendering the numberplates impossible to read, was identified from particular damage which it had sustained in the past.

After tracking down the car, its owner, Grech, was arrested and given his rights.

Police searching the car found a red spent shotgun cartridge on the passenger side. A subsequent search of his home recovered a shotgun and red shotgun cartridges.

Grech had refused to answer police questions or sign his statement, said the inspector, adding that the accused was already on bail and had been out in breach of his bail conditions.

Answering questions from parte civile lawyer Stefano Filetti, the inspector said the door had been damaged, and pellets had penetrated into the house.

Before the incident, family members of the accused had wanted him to see a doctor as he was not acting normally, the court was also told.

The case continues in September.

Lawyer Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri are defence counsel.