Man charged with public indecency after masturbating near playground

Man released on bail against a personal guarantee of €500

A man has been released on bail after allegedly masturbating in public, in the vicinity of a children’s playground.

36-year-old Ahmed Osman Ibrahim from Somalia, a Marsa resident, was arraigned before magistrate Lara Lanfranco on a charge of public indecency, on Tuesday.

Police Inspector Sarah Zerafa told the court that the man had been arrested after two passing children spotted him pleasuring himself in public near the Paola playground, and informed the police. The incident was also captured on CCTV, she said.

The accused’s legal aid lawyer Joe Bonnici, entered a plea of not guilty on the man’s behalf and requested bail.

Bonnici added that Ibrahim has refugee status and lives in shared accommodation with other refugees.

The inspector said she would have insisted on treatment had the man admitted the charge, but that now things were more worrying.

“His excuse was ‘there were more black people like me’ in the area. He claimed that he had run away from the police to catch a bus but there was no bus stop nearby,” added the inspector, in her submissions opposing the man’s release from custody.

After taking into account the man’s lack of means, the court released him on bail, against a personal guarantee of €500.

He was also placed under a curfew and ordered to sign a bail book three times a week.