Man who punched Somali man in Mgarr jailed for two years

A witness described the accused punching the man, picking him and throwing him into the sea ‘like a sack’

Footage of the attack surfaced on social media soon after the attack
Footage of the attack surfaced on social media soon after the attack

A man from Xewkija who had punched a drunk Somali man, before throwing him into the sea at Mġarr Harbour, has been jailed for two years.

Deelian Mifsud had appeared in court in July 2021, charged with attempted grievous bodily harm, actual slight bodily harm, criminal damage to property and breaching the public peace following the incident.

Magistrate Simone Grech had heard how the victim had been forcibly ejected from a bar at Mgarr, Gozo, by a bouncer. A group of men had then set upon the man, punching him repeatedly.

Witnesses had told the court how Mifsud had punched the man before walking away. But at some point, he decided to go back for seconds, grabbing the intoxicated Somali man and throwing him into the sea.

The final part of the incident was captured on video which had subsequently gone viral on social media.

One eyewitness described Mifsud punching the man, picking him and throwing him into the sea ‘like a sack’ recalled a sense of concern because it wasn’t clear whether the man knew how to swim.

The defendant had told the police that he had done so to stop the victim, who was described as being drunk and belligerent from causing more trouble. He told his interrogators that he had hoped the cold water would bring the drunk man to his senses.

“He didn’t want to leave and I threw him into the sea because you can’t reason with a drunk person and in fact when he got out of the water he wasn’t the same, he was a bit better than before.”

Deelian Mifsud said that the possibility that the man might not know how to swim, or could have been hit by a boat had not crossed his mind at the time.

The video clip showing the victim being hurled into the sea had been exhibited as evidence, leading the magistrate to observe that Mifsud had immediately turned around and walked away after throwing the drunk man into the water, and had shown no concern for his safety.

The court had also heard a witness testify that the victim had threatened to kill the defendant’s family, right before Mifsud had assaulted him.

Magistrate Grech said she did not believe that the defendant’s action had been intended to bring his drunk abuser to his senses, but had in fact been aimed at hurting and intimidating him.

However, it was also held that there was insufficient evidence linking the defendant to the victim’s injuries, in view of the fact that he had been involved in an altercation with a group of other men right before the incident, it could not establish whether the injuries had been inflicted by them. The court also noted that the victim had been so drunk that he had even fallen over in front of police officers, injuring his elbow in the process.

Neither had the prosecution proven any damage to the victim’s mobile phone.

Mifsud was also found guilty of breaching the peace. Besides the prison sentence, the court imposed a restraining order on Mifsud in favour of the victim.