Man on bail for drug offences returned to custody after several thefts

Accused receives suspended sentence for carrying out several thefts from a supermarket in Mellieħa during the month of November

Court (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)
Court (Photo: James Bianchi/MaltaToday)

A man on bail for drug offences has been returned to custody for breaching his bail conditions after he admitted to several thefts.

Jovan Todorovic, 47, a driver from Serbia received a suspended sentence for carrying out several thefts from a supermarket in Mellieħa during the month of November, which had been aggravated by the value of the items stolen.

He was also charged with having committed simple theft from the same supermarket on November 28.

Todorovic also faced further charges relating to failing to show he had attempted to earn a living and breaching bail conditions handed to him in January 2021 on drug-related charges.

Standing in the dock before magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit on Thursday, Todorovic wavered in his plea, initially withdrawing his admission of guilt, after consulting with his lawyer because of his bail situation.

Struggling to explain his position to the court in English, he mentioned other, ongoing, proceedings involving his estranged wife and young daughter. In broken English, he told the magistrate that his wife hadn’t answered phone calls from him earlier this week, but the court pointed out that this did not in any way justify his crimes.

His lawyer explained that Todorovic wanted to know whether he could forfeit all of his bail deposit and not be re-arrested if he pleaded guilty. The court said this was not possible.

After ensuring that the defendant understood the repercussions of admitting guilt to these charges, the man entered a guilty plea.

He was sentenced to imprisonment for one year, which was suspended for two years. The court also revoked his bail, ordering the confiscation of his €3,000 deposit together with his re-arrest. He was also ordered to pay €430 in damages within six months.

Lawyer Joseph Camilleri Azarov and Inspector Warren Galea prosecuted.

Lawyer Mattia Felice was defence counsel.