Domestic incident lands man in the dock, charged with grievous bodily harm

Defence argued that the woman only suffered a graze during the altercation • Bail granted to the man against a deposit and personal guarantee

The lawyer defending a man charged with grievously injuring his wife in a domestic argument, has told a court that the woman suffered only a ‘graze’ in the alleged altercation.

The 59-year-old male, a self-employed construction industry worker from San Gwann, appeared in the dock before magistrate Charmaine Galea this morning, accused of grievously injuring his wife, insulting and threatening her.

Inspector Sherona Buhagiar told the court that on 20 September, police had been called out to a domestic argument in which a woman was injured. The woman’s partner was arrested and a medical doctor later certified her injuries as grievous.

Defence lawyer Patrick Valentino entered a plea of not guilty on his client’s behalf. He said that the medical certificate showed that there were no broken bones or stitches.

“The problem is that you have a doctor who is not aware of the law, saying that it is a grievous injury. There is only an abrasion,” said the lawyer.

Valentino requested bail for the accused, telling the court that he was ready to move in with his sister in St. Julian’s, pending proceedings.

The prosecution objected to bail, citing the serious nature of the offence and a fear that the man would approach the only prosecution witness, who is his wife. The inspector added that the man had been arraigned on similar domestic violence charges around ten years ago, but had been forgiven by the victim.

Bail was granted against a deposit of €2000 and a personal guarantee of €5000. The man was ordered to sign a bail book twice weekly and obey a curfew. He was also prohibited from speaking to his wife.

A protection order was also issued in favour of the woman.