Man accused over San Ġwann fight gets bail after injured party testifies

He is accused of injuring a man during an argument, and breaching peace, bail and probation orders

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

A man charged over a fight in Gżira, has been granted bail after spending a month in custody.

Paul Spagnol had been arraigned on 26 October, accused of slightly injuring a man during an argument, breaching the peace, as well as breaching bail and probation orders.

The court had heard how Spagnol had been involved in a verbal disagreement with a girl, when a man had intervened and an altercation ensued. Allegedly, this third person was injured by Spagnol.

The man’s injuries were initially classified as slight, and in fact Spagnol was originally charged with causing slight injuries, but were later revised to grievous after the man’s condition was reassessed. Spagnol’s charges were changed accordingly.

The victim had testified before magistrate Astrid May Grima in a sitting following the arraignment.

In a subsequent sitting this morning, the court ordered the acts of the case be sent back to the Attorney General, which would mean another six weeks in custody for the accused. Spagnol’s lawyer Ishmael Psaila objected to this but was ultimately overruled.

Psaila then requested bail for his client, saying that the vulnerable witnesses had now testified, with the prosecution objecting because of the character of the accused, who is no stranger to the criminal justice system – as illustrated by his long criminal record.

The lawyer argued that this factor alone was not sufficient to deny a request for bail, arguing that if this was the case, this would mean that nobody with a criminal record would ever be eligible for bail. The court had legal mechanisms with which it could protect the public, Psaila said.

After hearing the parties’ arguments, Magistrate Grima released Spagnol on bail against a deposit of €2,500 and a personal guarantee of €10,000 He was also ordered to sign a bail book twice a week and observe a curfew.

Inspector Neil Caruana is prosecuting.