Man remanded in custody after sexually assaulting 10-year-old at Mosta grocery

47-year-old man denied bail after being charged with sexually assualting minor

File photo
File photo

A 47-year-old man has been remanded in custody on charges of having sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl at a Mosta grocery store.

The defendant, Mufarrih Shah, from Pakistan, was arraigned under arrest before magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo on Tuesday.

Police Inspectors Kylie Borg and Godwin Scerri charged the defendant, who told the court that he was unemployed, with committing a non-consensual act of a sexual nature on the 10-year-old girl, a charge aggravated by the victim’s age.

He was further charged with corrupting a minor, aggravated by the fact that the victim was less than 12-years-old, sexually harassing the child in question and causing her to fear that violence would be used against her or her loved ones. Shah was also accused of working in Malta without a permit.

Shah, who was represented by lawyer Colin Galea, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Bail was also requested, and was objected to by AG prosecutor Darlene Grima, who pointed out that the victim was a minor, that the defendant had no ties to Malta, had no local identification documents and had been unable to even give the police his address details.

His lawyer suggested that bail conditions could include that he be prohibited from going to Mosta and stipulate where he is to reside. There was no risk of him absconding as his travel documents were now tied up in court.

The court denied bail at this stage, on the grounds of the serious nature of the charges, the defendant’s lack of ties with Malta and the early stage of proceedings.

As the defence lawyer informed the court that his client had informed him that he had mental health problems, the Court made a recommendation to the prison director to have a doctor examine him and if necessary, hold him at the forensic unit.