Charges dropped as woman withdraws complaint against alleged abusive ex-husband

Court releases man from prosecution after his estranged wife withdrew her complaint that he had locked her and their daughter in their home and sent threatening text messages

A man who was reported to the police by his estranged wife for allegedly locking her and their daughter in their house and then sending her threatening text messages, was released by a court after the woman withdrew her complaint, right as the man was about to be charged.

The 63-year-old defendant, who told the court he worked as a veterinary surgeon, appeared in the dock before magistrate Kevan Azzopardi this morning, accused of illegally detaining his ex-partner and daughter on 27-28 May.

Prosecuting police inspector Sherona Buhagiar exhibited screenshots of Whatsapp chats between the defendant and the woman.

The woman’s lawyer, Lennox Vella, informed the court that his client wished to withdraw her complaint and drop the charges. The defendant and the alleged victim live together and have a daughter, said the lawyer, explaining that the daughter’s birthday is tomorrow and she will be sitting for school exams soon. 

Defence lawyer Franco Debono described the incident as a one-off, saying he hoped that good sense would continue with respect to both parties. 

 “Sir, you are a person of certain intellect and social standing. It has a choice before it and will choose in the best interests of the victims, not your own,” said the magistrate, addressing the defendant, whose name is subject to a reporting ban.

He told the man to seek help to reconcile with his wife and advised the woman to do the same. “I hope this episode serves as a wake-up call. I don’t want to see you before these courts again,” said the magistrate.

The court was told that the man had an “almost clean” criminal record and that civil proceedings between the couple were ongoing.

After taking into account the interests of the victim and the couple’s children, the magistrate upheld the woman’s request to withdraw the charges and declared the case closed.