Man charged over thefts of e-scooters

The police were unable to reach the man's legal aid lawyer, with another lawyer having to step in to assist

A homeless man has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of theft and handling stolen goods, in an arraignment where his State-appointed legal aid lawyer did not show up and could not be contacted.

Wayne Hall, 32, was arraigned before magistrate Gabriella Vella on Tuesday afternoon by Inspector Sarah K Zerafa, accused of the aggravated theft of an electric scooter on August 22, stealing a tablet from a shop on August 20, the aggravated theft of a battery from another electric scooter from a showroom and causing damage to it. The offences all took place in various parts of Fgura.

Hall was also charged with handling stolen goods and recidivism.

But when the arraignment started, the court was told that the police had been unable to reach the man’s legal aid lawyer on the phone. The court remarked that this had also happened in an arraignment earlier this morning, and that another lawyer from the legal aid pool had stepped in to assist as he had happened to be in court at the time.

During the afternoon arraignment, only lawyer Arthur Azzopardi was present. He accepted the court’s request to assist the accused on an amicus curiae basis just for the arraignment.

Azzopardi entered a plea of not guilty for the accused and did not request bail in view of the fact that the man had no fixed address.

Hall was remanded in custody.