Jewellery thief jailed over 2010 burglary

 Iklin man found guilty of having stolen some €50,000 worth of jewellery from a villa

File photo
File photo

A 55-year-old man from Iklin has been jailed for five years after being found guilty of having stolen some €50,000 worth of jewellery from a villa, 12 years ago.

Magistrate Simone Grech handed down judgement yesterday, bringing the case against serial burglar Alexander Cardona, who had been charged in connection with November 2010 burglary to a close.

Cardona has a number of previous convictions and ongoing criminal proceedings for burglaries and jewellery thefts.

The victims’ daughter, who had been pregnant at the time the burglary took place, had told the court how she had been in bed when she had heard the doorbell ring. The witness was still in bed when she heard the door being forced open. She said she recognised Cardona as the man she had seen on the doorbell intercom and had found him upstairs, in her parents’ bedroom, helping himself to the contents of their chest of drawers, where the family jewellery was stored. Upon seeing this, the woman ran downstairs and left the house.

The burglar had damaged furniture and door locks, in addition to destroying the bedroom door, the witness said.

The owner of the villa had also testified, describing finding his house “upside down” when he had come back home and confirming that gold family heirlooms had been stolen during the burglary.

Cardona had also been charged over an attempted break-in at another residence in his hometown of Iklin, which had taken place in April 2012. He told the court that he had taken some lemons from his neighbour’s garden and, after receiving a telling-off from his mother, had gone to offer payment for the stolen fruit.

He testified to having tried to do so three times. The first time, nobody answered the door and the neighbour had slammed the door shut in his face on his second attempt. There was nobody home for his third attempt, he said.

That neighbour had also testified, telling the court that she had noticed Cardona opening her garage door while she had been inside and that she had pushed it closed.

However, with regards to the April 2012 incident, the magistrate said she was not convinced that Cardona had been trying to break into the garage, noting that his reputation as a criminal might have led the woman to jump to the conclusion that his intentions were not genuine.

The court ruled that the prosecution had not succeeded in proving the charges relating to that incident.

However, with regards to the 2010 burglary, the magistrate noted that the evidence showed that the accused had climbed the wall up to the bedroom terrace and had forced open an aluminium door to gain entry to the villa.

Finding him guilty of aggravated theft and voluntary damage, the court sentenced Cardona to imprisonment for five years, taking into account the man’s soiled criminal record and pointing out that the defence had not presented any evidence that he had changed his ways.

Lawyer Edward Gatt was defence counsel to Cardona.