No bail for man accused of defiling 15-year-old girl

24-year-old construction worker remanded in in custody after being charged with defiling a 15-year-old girl

File photo
File photo

A 24-year-old construction worker has been remanded in custody after he was charged with defiling a 15-year-old girl.

Police inspectors Kylie Borg and Ritienne Gauci charged the man with offences relating to defiling a minor and participating in sexual activities with a minor who was a vulnerable person in view of a heath condition.

Inspector Borg told magistrate Noel Bartolo how the girl's parents had contacted the police Vice Squad to report the incident, which took place on 20 March.

The man was subsequently tracked down from the fake Facebook profile he had used and was arrested.

The accused, who is from Chad, told the court that he lived in Birkirkara. A plea of not guilty was entered on the man’s behalf by his lawyers, who also requested bail.

The bail request was objected to by the prosecution on the grounds that the man had no address in Malta and because the alleged victim had not yet testified.

Lawyer Noel Bartolo, defence counsel together with lawyer Ibtisam Sadegh, told the court that the alleged victim was "just two weeks short" of her 16th birthday. “She had initiated communication with the accused on WhatsApp and solicited the encounter,” the lawyer said, adding that the man was an asylum seeker, had a place of residence and a job which he could lose if remanded in custody.

The court, however, denied bail at this stage citing the risk of the accused tampering with evidence. 

The court upheld both parties' requests for a ban on the publication of the names of the accused and the girl.

AG Lawyer Kayleigh Bonnett also prosecuted