Man accused of threatening motorist at knifepoint after minor traffic accident

Pastizzi deliveryman denies pulling a knife on another motorist after a minor collision

File photo
File photo

A pastizzi deliveryman from Mosta has denied pulling a knife on another motorist after a minor collision.

Inspector Roderick Attard from Rabat police station arraigned 44-year-old Stephen Galea, from Mosta under arrest before magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace this morning.

Galea was charged with threatening the other motorist, carrying a pocket knife in public without a police permit, causing the other man to fear violence, dangerous and reckless driving, negligently causing damage to the other vehicle breaching bail conditions, driving the vehicle in question without a driving licence or insurance cover. He was also accused of breaching a curfew which was part of his previous bail conditions.

The police inspector told the court how after the alleged victim had told the police the number plate of the vehicle which collided with his, the police had traced the car back to its registered owner, who confirmed that Galea had the keys.

The victim had also recognised the accused, added the prosecution. Although no identity parade was carried out, he had accurately described Galea’s appearance before being shown a picture of him and recognising the accused as the aggressor.

Answering a question asked by lawyer Dustin Camilleri, defence counsel to the accused, the inspector confirmed that only picture which the victim had been shown was that of Galea.

Camilleri said he would not be contesting the validity of the arrest at this stage, in view of the fact that the arrest had been carried out in the strength of a warrant issued by a magistrate.

Galea pleaded not guilty. The defence requested bail, pointing out that the victim does not appear to know the accused and had gone to file the police report the next day.

The lawyer argued that the alleged victim could have been summoned to testify during the arraignment, as this was an incident that had only lasted around five minutes, adding that it would be “very unfair” on the accused to be held in prison until the next sitting on this ground.

Replying, Inspector Attard explained that amongst the grounds on which the prosecution was objecting to bail was the man’s criminal record and that his previous convictions included breaching bail. He added that there were, in fact, two civilian witnesses.

The inspector informed the court that Galea had exercised his right to silence but had otherwise cooperated with the police.

The court ordered the man be remanded in custody, urging the prosecution to bring its witnesses to testify without delay.