Boy, 15, charged with damaging hospital monitor after being denied cigarette

Boy smashed monitor after being refused a cigarette, causing over €2,500 worth of damage in the process

File photo
File photo

A 15-year-old boy has been remanded in custody after allegedly escaping from a Caritas therapy centre and causing thousands of euros worth of damage at Mater Dei Hospital.

Police Inspectors Paul Camilleri and Antonello Magri arraigned the youth before magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit earlier today, on charges of breaching bail, criminal damage and threatening a police officer.

The boy was accused of having escaped from the Caritas Adolescents Therapeutic Centre on June 29 and damaging a monitor at Mater Dei Hospital on July 16.

The court was told that the young man had originally been arraigned on 28 June but the court had declared his arrest invalid due to missing information.

The day after the failed arraignment, the defendant had fled the rehabilitation centre where he was being treated and disappeared.

Police had mounted an intensive search for the youth, who was eventually found Marsa on 16 July and arrested.

As soon as he was arrested, he complained of chest pain and had to be taken to the emergency department at Mater Dei Hospital, where he smashed a monitor after being refused a cigarette, causing over €2,500 worth of damage in the process.

The next day, after being escorted to the hospital canteen to smoke, he gave the escorting police officer and two carers the slip and escaped again.

He was later found in Qawra, living with other young persons.

Lawyers Mario Mifsud and Nicholas Mifsud represented the youth as defence counsel.