Chef accused of stabbing woman inside Birkirkara diner

Chef and restaurant owner pleads not guilty to attacking the woman and inflicting grievous bodily harm

A chef and restaurant owner has pleaded not guilty to having stabbed a woman inside his Birkirkara diner as well as drug charges in what is understood to be a cocaine-fuelled assault.

Keith Gravina, 41, from Floriana was arraigned in connection with the September 30 incident by police inspectors Andrew Agius Bonello and Clayton Camilleri before Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech on Wednesday afternoon.

Gravina was charged with attacking the woman, whose relationship with the defendant is unclear, and inflicting grievous bodily harm with a sharp and pointed instrument - a metal rod- as well as with holding the woman against her will. He was further accused of the possession and supplying of cocaine, disobeying the police’s legitimate orders and breaching bail conditions that had been imposed on him in June 2022.

The 41-year-old defendant, who told the court that he “works in catering”, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Defence lawyer Matthew Xuereb did not contest the validity of the arrest and informed the court that bail was not going to be requested at this stage.

After the court imposed a ban on the publication of the victim’s name, the defence asked for a similar ban with regards to the defendant, on the grounds that the police investigation was still ongoing and the fact that the defendant had young children.
The court dismissed that request. “He should have considered that before,” said the magistrate.

Lawyers Alex Scerri Herrera and Martina Herrera are representing the woman as parte civile.

Prosecutor Etienne Savona from the Office of the Attorney General is assisting the police.