Tyson Grech's bail breach prison sentence converted to fine on appeal

The Court of Criminal Appeal partially overturns Tyson Grech's conviction for breaching two sets of bail conditions, after a police inspector found Grech inside the Havana Club at around 2am on September of 2021, violating his court-imposed curfew

(Photo: Facebook)
(Photo: Facebook)

The Court of Criminal Appeal has partially overturned Tyson Grech conviction for breaching two sets of bail conditions by going clubbing in Paceville, replacing the prison sentence he had been handed for it with a fine.

Grech had been charged with the offence, after a police inspector found Grech inside the Havana Club at around 2am on September 5, 2021, violating his court-imposed curfew. The police had been alerted to a social media post by Grech, placing him inside the nightclub.

Grech had first been released on bail after filing an appeal against a six year prison sentence he had been handed for rape in 2019. His second set of bail conditions related to ongoing proceedings in which he is charged with being part of a group who kidnapped a man in 2021.

According to the testimony of prosecuting police Inspector Jonathan Ransley, Grech first claimed to be feeling unwell and had to be taken to hospital, only to discharge himself voluntarily. He was then referred to Mount Carmel Hospital, where he was certified as fit to undergo interrogation.

A court of magistrates had subsequently found Grech guilty of breaching bail on 22 September 2021, jailing him for four months and confiscating his bail deposit and personal guarantee - a total of €1,500.

Lawyer Jason Grima had filed an appeal on Grech’s behalf, requesting a “more equitable and just punishment.”

He argued that the prosecution had not exhibited copies of both bail decrees, or proof of their authenticity. Neither had it brought evidence to prove that proceedings against him were still ongoing, nor that the decrees were still in force and had not been changed.

Grech’s lawyer also submitted that the four month jail term was excessive and disproportionate to the crime.

In a decision handed down on Monday, the Criminal Court presided by Mr. Justice Neville Camilleri said it had been sufficiently proven that Grech had breached the conditions of his most recent bail decree, but not the 2019 one.

The court, however, noted that with regard to the latter set of bail conditions, “the appellant did not take this condition [the curfew] with the seriousness befitting it.” 

In view of the fact that Grech’s conviction on one of the two charges was being overturned, and in the circumstances of the case, the judge substituted the four month sentence with an €800 fine and confiscated the €500 deposit securing the 2021 bail conditions.