Two charged over Paceville mugging

CCTV showed an accused punching the victim for two continuous minutes

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

Two homeless men from Somalia and Niger have been charged with the violent mugging, early on Thursday morning, of two men in Paceville, in which one man was injured.

Magistrate Victor Axiaq heard how in the early hours of Thursday, the police were approached by two men, one from Slovakia and the other from the Philippines, who said that they had been mugged and beaten up.

One was taken to hospital to be treated for his injuries, while the other man accompanied the police on a search for the aggressors, who were duly apprehended.

Hassan Jama Hassan, aged 25, from Somalia and Chaharou Ibrahim, aged 36, from Niger were charged this morning with beating up and robbing the men. The court heard how CCTV footage showed the men punching one victim for a straight two minutes.

The men were accused of theft aggravated by violence, value and time. Hassan alone was accused of slightly injuring the victim, illegally detaining him against his will, possession of cannabis and breaching bail.

For his part, Ibrahim was accused of illegally detaining the other man, carrying a knife in public without a police permit and recidivism.

Before the case was heard, lawyer Benjamin Valenzia asked to be allowed to approach the bench to discuss the case with the magistrate out of earshot of the public. After discussing the issue privately for around 15 minutes, the sitting began.

Inspectors Jonathan Cassar, Lydon Zammit and Stephen Gulia prosecuted, while lawyers Benjamin Valenzia and Cynthia Tomasuolo were defence counsel to Ibrahim and Hassan, respectively. 

No representative of the AG appeared for the arraignment, noted the court.

Hassan said that he wanted to plead guilty to the charges. The Court gave him time to reconsider and warned him that the charges carried a jail sentence. “I don’t know what happened, I don’t remember what happened,” said the man.

The court pointed out that this was not a guilty plea and allowed the man time to speak to his lawyer again.

Meanwhile Ibrahim, who said he is unemployed, pleaded guilty, confirming his plea when asked to and after being warned that prison was a possibility. His lawyer requested the separation of the two cases. 

The court upheld the request.

Ibrahim was found guilty on his own admission and was jailed for two years and ten months, also being fined €116.47 for the knife possession charge, with the court ordering that the weapon be confiscated.

Hassan was then ushered back into the courtroom to enter a plea. There would be no admission at this stage, his lawyer informed the court.

The magistrate noted that the accused man was not requesting bail. Hassan was therefore remanded in custody and his case will be assigned to a magistrate and appointed according to law.