Two charged with assault that left Somali victim with facial fractures and missing teeth

Two men, charged with beating up a Somali man who tried to enter a private party at a Hamrun bar, are released on bail

File photo
File photo

Two men have been charged in connection with a brutal fight at a Hamrun lounge bar which happened on Monday at 2 am.

Paul Spagnol, 35, Birkirkara and a 17-year-old boy from San Gwann appeared in the dock before magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, accused of attacking and grievously injuring a Somali man at the bar on May 23 at around 2am. The victim suffered facial fractures and had some of his teeth knocked out, the court was told.

In addition to these charges, prosecuting police inspector Andy Rotin also accused the men of voluntarily breaching the peace. Paul Spagnol was further accused of being a recidivist.

The prosecution requested the accused be ordered to suffer the costs of appointing experts.

Inspector Rotin told the court how a man had gone to the police station to report being beaten up after trying to enter a private party at the club. 

The men pleaded not guilty to the charges. Their respective lawyers both requested bail.

This was objected to by the prosecution.

Lawyer Alexander Scerri Herrera, for Spagnol, argued that the men resided in Malta and there was no risk of them absconding. The younger accused had a clean criminal record, he said, suggesting that the court could impose a protection order preventing them from approaching Hamrun.

There had been a prior altercation, he said.

Lawyer Roberto Spiteri seconded the arguments, saying that their continued detention would prejudice their employment. The fears raised by the prosecution were not substantiated by evidence and were weak, he argued. It would be unjust to remand them in custody, he said.

The bar employees had also all told the police that the accused had no part in the fight, suggested the defence.

The court released the men on bail, ordering them to observe a curfew and stay away from Hamrun and the prosecution's witnesses. Both men's bail was secured by separate deposits of €1,000 a personal guarantee of €6,500.

The court imposed a ban on reporting the name of the 17-year-old accused.