Airport sunglasses thief pleads guilty

The accused apologised in court, describing the incident as a ‘moment of folly’

Malta International Airport
Malta International Airport

An Italian man has apologised for stealing a pair of designer sunglasses from a shop at the airport on Sunday, describing the incident as a “moment of folly.”

Inspector Christian Abela arraigned 30-year-old Francesco Melchiorre from Bari before magistrate Astrid May Grima earlier on Monday over the theft of the designer sunglasses which took place on Sunday just before noon. 

The police informed the court that officers had identified the accused as the culprit from CCTV footage.

Lawyer Edward Debono, defence counsel, informed the court that the man would be pleading guilty to the charge. Magistrate Grima reminded the defence that the court could potentially impose a custodial sentence over the charges, asking the accused whether he wanted to reconsider his plea.

Melchiorre replied that he was “very sorry for what I did, it was a moment of folly,” and that he had also returned the stolen item.

Debono described the crime as “a moment of madness”, saying that he couldn’t understand how his client happened to have a bag full of sunglasses, one of which turned out to be stolen. The accused had no prior convictions and was flying back to Italy today, Debono said. No good would come out of imprisoning him, suggested the lawyer.

Inspector Abela had no submissions to make on punishment, saying he would leave the matter up to the court.

Magistrate Grima, having heard the parties’ submissions, condemned Melchiorre to imprisonment for six months, suspending the sentence for three years.