Man charged with threatening partner, smashing her windshield with bricks, over dinner date refusal

A 32-year-old Macedonian man is facing 12 charges of domestic violence and assault, including throwing cinder blocks through the windshield of his partner's car, after she turned down his invitation to a dinner date

A court has been told how a man accused of assaulting and threatening his partner had thrown two cinder blocks through the windshield of her parked car because she had turned down his invitation to a dinner date.

Inspector Audrey Micallef arraigned the 32-year-old Macedonian man before magistrate Nadine Lia earlier on Tuesday.

The inspector told the court how the Domestic Violence unit had received a report on Sunday from the man’s partner. “She stated that when he drinks alcohol - and there were also times when he smoked illegal substances - his behaviour becomes aggressive. The mental and physical abuse had escalated since August.”

From the witness stand, Inspector Micallef explained that the victim had told the police about several violent incidents involving the accused. “On one occasion he had dragged her out of his residence by her hair…another time he had kicked her and bruised her left eye,” she said, adding that this was besides the verbal and written threats he would send her through social media and instant messaging. “The threats were against the woman’s life and her property,” added the inspector.

The court was told how on one occasion, the woman had gone to a bar with one of her friends, only to be followed there by the accused who then got drunk and accused her of going to the bar because she liked one of the serving staff. He would also insult the woman and accuse her of having sex with other men for money.

The victim was so scared that she decided it would be safer to leave her car in Bugibba and take a taxi home. The next day, when she returned to Bugibba to pick up her car, she found the vehicle to have been extensively damaged.

“Approximately €6000 worth of damage had been caused to the car. The windshield was smashed with cinder blocks, which were found on the driver and passenger seats,” said the inspector. The woman had told the police that the accused had called her up later that day, telling her that he had caused the damage because she hadn’t gone with him to a restaurant and that he would pay for the damages.

The accused, a technician, who the court was told now resided with his mother, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Lawyer Josette Sultana, representing the accused as legal aid counsel, requested bail. 

The prosecution objected to bail, in view of the serious charges and the fear that he would tamper with evidence or attempt to suborn witnesses, who had not yet testified. “He has only been in Malta for a year and a half.”

Sultana submitted that the accused did not pose a flight risk. “He should not be discriminated against because he is not Maltese. He has a stable job and resides with his mother in St. Paul’s Bay, while the alleged victim lives in St. Julians, so the court could impose safeguards.”

The court however rejected the bail request at this stage, noting that a substantial number of charges - 12 in all - related to the victim. It had to ensure that no tampering of evidence or intimidation was directed at the victim until she testified, said the magistrate, who urged the prosecution to bring the victim forward to testify at the next opportunity.