Homeless man charged with attempted theft in Malta, remanded in custody

Robert Alan Smith, a 33-year-old Englishman who claimed to be homeless, has been remanded in custody after being charged with attempted theft of several cars in Mġarr, Malta

A homeless man who said he lived in a tent on Gnejna Bay has been remanded in custody on charges of attempted theft.

Robert Alan Smith, a 33-year-old Englishman and who told the court that he lived in Mġarr but explained that he was homeless, had been arrested just after midnight yesterday suspicion of attempting to break into several cars in Mġarr, Malta,

Prosecuting police inspector Godwin Scerri explained that Smith had been convicted of similar charges at the end of last March, for which he had been sentenced to 17 months in prison, suspended for two years. Smith was also charged with recidivism.

Defence lawyer Sue Mercieca did not contest the validity of the arrest, telling the court that Smith had been trying to sleep in the car in question, explaining that the defendant had family problems and was addicted to cocaine.

The lawyer requested bail for the accused, telling the court that a friend of his was willing to offer him accommodation.

The prosecution objected to the bail request, pointing out that Smith lived in a tent, was unemployed and had a drug problem which had led to him committing the crime. The inspector highlighted the fact that Smith had last been sentenced for similar crimes on April 22, arguing that he was not a trustworthy person.

The defendant informed the court that he wished to return to England to seek treatment there, adding that he already had a flight booked.

"That means that he's going to abscond" the court pointed out to his lawyer.

Bail was denied.