Construction worker admits to stealing boss' tools after non-payment of wages

Construction worker who stole his employer’s tools, after he was not paid for his work, admits to related charges

File photo
File photo

A Sicilian construction worker who stole his employer’s tools, after he was not paid for his work, has admitted related charges.

Giuseppe Amato, 32, from Catania appeared before magistrate Doreen Clarke on Monday, accused of theft, breaching the peace and assaulting his boss.

Inspector Ryan Vella, charging the accused, told the court how on 20 August, the Qawra Police station received a report of an argument in nearby Bugibba. At the scene, officers found that community policing officers had already detained the accused, who was then taken to the police station.

Vella explained how the person filing the report, Amato’s boss, Carmelo Leonardi, told the police that the accused had stolen some €1,500 worth of Leonardi’s construction tools from a building site. Some of the items were later returned, added the inspector.

The accused had admitted to having done so during police questioning and had been detained under arrest as he was going to return to Sicily.

Amato, assisted by lawyer Charmaine Cherrett, pleaded guilty to the charges.

During submissions on punishment, the prosecution did not insist on the man’s incarceration, but said that the items that had not yet been returned, worth €1,200, had to be given back or paid for.

Cherrett told the court that Amato was promising to return the items. She explained that he had arrived in Malta earlier this month to work with Leonardi, but when the time for payment arrived, his employer had refused to remunerate him and so her client had stolen the tools.

“Unfortunately, the accused was also injured in the argument, but had decided not to press charges although these were documented,” she added.

The court sentenced Amato to imprisonment for one year, suspending his sentence for three years and ordered him to pay the remaining €1,200 to Leonardi within three months.