Youths admit to Valletta fight charges in change of plea

Two 16-year-olds admit to charges in connection with a brutal assault on a 15-year-old boy in Valletta that left him with a leg broken in two places

Two 16-year-olds have admitted to charges in connection with a brutal assault on a 15-year-old boy in Valletta that left the victim’s leg broken in two places.

During their arraignment late last month, the court had been told how the police had received a report of a fight in Valletta, and had arrested the youths after they were identified from CCTV footage.

Magistrate Lara Lanfranco will deliver a ruling on a joint request for a pre-sentencing report before her sentence is delivered. 

The boys’ defence lawyers also made a second request for bail until the pre-sentencing report is completed, asking that a temporary order of supervision be imposed as well. A previous bail request made during their arraignment had been rejected.

Parte civile lawyer Stefano Filletti asked the court to impose the “strictest possible” bail conditions and asked the magistrate to issue a protection order in favour of the victim.

Meanwhile defence lawyer Franco Debono asked for bail supervision as “the justice system has an excellent opportunity to reform these youths.”

This was a good opportunity for the court system to use reformatory and restorative methods in accordance with the Restorative Justice Act, which includes victim/accused mediation, added Debono.

Bail was granted to the two accused, who were released from arrest against a deposit of €500 and a personal guarantee of €2,000, each. They were also ordered to sign a bail book three times a week and observe a curfew. The court also prohibited them from approaching or attempting to communicate with the victims or witnesses.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Francesca Zarb were defence counsel to one of the accused. Lawyers Arthur Azzopardi and Jacob Magri appeared for the second youth.

Lawyer Charles Mercieca and Giannella De Marco represented one of the victims as parte civile. Lawyer Stefano Filletti represented two other victims. Another victim was represented by his mother.