Forklift driver released on bail after allegedly attacking acquaintance during argument

A 44-year-old forklift driver from Santa Luċija was granted bail following charges of assaulting an acquaintance with a sharp object during a dispute

A forklift driver was released on bail on Tuesday afternoon after being charged with attacking an acquaintance with a sharp object during an argument.

44-year-old Paul Borg from Santa Luċija was accused of attacking and grievously injuring the alleged victim in Sta Lucia with a sharp and pointed instrument during the afternoon of 28 May. Borg was also charged with recidivism.

Inspector Paul Camilleri, prosecuting, told Magistrate Kevan Azzopardi that the victim had gone to the police station last Sunday to report the incident. The two men, who knew each other, had been involved in an argument which degenerated into an altercation, adding that the defendant himself had said this in his statement to the police.

Borg is understood to have left the scene only to return later.

The victim had suffered a cut to the palm of his hand, which was classified as a grievous injury by doctors at the Paola Health Centre. While the victim claimed that a knife had been used, the defendant told the police that he had used a beer can.

Although the incident was not captured on CCTV footage from nearby cameras, the footage did confirm the arrival of the defendant’s car at the place where the incident had occurred.

Borg had released a statement to the police, but would not sign it, said the inspector. He had told the police that he had been involved in the fight and that he had used a beer can.

In court today, Borg pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Defence lawyer Brandon Muscat requested bail for his client, telling the court that the defendant had no interest in seeing the victim again and that there were none of the risks envisaged by the law as grounds to refuse bail.

The inspector told the court that the footage showed the defendant running away from the scene.  The victim had insisted that a weapon was used, added the inspector, telling the court that the prosecution would be contesting the defendant’s claim of having acted in self-defence at a later stage.

The Court observed that Borg’s criminal record showed at least two similar incidents.

“The victim hasn’t testified, they live in the same locality, it is not the first time that the defendant had a run-in with the law,” observed the court.

The defence insisted that the defendant’s most recent conviction was many years ago, asking the court to give the man another chance.

The magistrate upheld the bail request, telling the defendant he would give him one chance.

Borg was released from arrest against a €250 deposit and a €2,000 personal guarantee, also being ordered to sign a bail book three times a week.

The court also issued a protection order and prohibited the man from the particular area of Santa Luċija where the incident had occurred.