Woman stabbed ex-partner in self-defence, court rules

The woman was acquitted of causing her ex-partner grievous injury in an incident that goes back to 2019

A woman who stabbed and seriously wounded her ex-partner as he tried to rape her has been acquitted of causing him grievous injury on the grounds of self-defence. 

The incident had happened during the early hours of May 14, 2019, at the woman’s Żabbar home. Her son had been asleep in another room at the time.

The woman had testified to having moved to Żabbar after her relationship with the alleged victim, a Libyan man, had ended, but he had not accepted this state of fact. During the course of that relationship, she said, she had filed several police reports against him.

On the day of the incident, the man had - not for the first time- knocked on the door of the apartment, asking to be allowed in to speak to her. But after the man entered the apartment, he tried to initiate sex with the woman, who refused and was punched in the face for doing so. The man had followed her around the apartment, before finally cornering her in the kitchen, pressing the woman up against the kitchen counter. 

She said that she had grabbed a kitchen knife and had waved it around in a bid to frighten the man off, but the man had stabbed himself, before leaving the house. The court was later told that he had gone to a friend’s house, from where he was taken to the local health centre.

This incident did not appear to have deterred the man, who would still appear at the woman’s address and harass her, she said, adding that she had started to film the incidents because of that.

The court noted that the harassment had persisted even after the woman’s arraignment over this incident.

Under cross-examination, the woman said that she had panicked and phoned up her mother but had not informed the police of the incident, telling the court that she had been doubtful that the man would be prosecuted and that she didn’t know how badly he had been wounded.

Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo acquitted the woman of all charges, ruling the case to be one of self-defence, in view of the fact that she had just been assaulted by the man, as well as the long history of harassment which, the court said, had “shattered her life.”

The woman had also been acquitted of grievously injuring her then husband in a near-identical case in 2014, also on the grounds of self-defence. In that case, the man’s injuries were deemed to have been self-inflicted because he had grabbed the knife that the woman had been wielding, by the blade. 

Inspector Eman Hayman prosecuted. Lawyer Stefano Filletti was defence counsel.