Man jailed for six years after assaulting Paceville bar staff

A 23-year-old man will spend six years in prison after assaulting two members of staff at a Paceville bar, and leaving one with a permanent facial deformity

A 23-year-old man has been jailed for six years over an assault on two members of staff at a Paceville bar that caused one of them to suffer a permanent facial deformity.

Twain Sciberras, from Birżebbuga, was 19 years old when he repeatedly punched members of staff with a knuckle duster during an altercation at a Paceville watering hole in December 2019.

One of the victims, a supervisor at the bar, had told the court that Twain Sciberras and his uncle, known as Temi, had been drinking there, when Temi made a fuss about the barman, who he said was not serving him because he didn’t know Maltese. The supervisor had gone to see what was wrong, but despite being civil towards the complaining patron, Temi had carried on shouting, swearing and acting aggressively.

The situation worsened when his nephew, Sciberras, arrived. Using the foulest of language, Sciberras had boasted that he hung out with the worst kind of people and threatened to cut the supervisor to pieces should he call security.

The conversation moved to the bar’s toilet area, where the defendant and his uncle continued to threaten the supervisor, blocking his exit and taunting him when he tried to leave.

Temi had tackled the man, who then tried to move him out of the way, at which point Sciberras produced a set of brass knuckles and proceeded to punch the victim in the face with them, repeatedly. After dumping the victim on the floor, the assailants left, taking his radio to stop him from calling for backup.

The bar supervisor needed 18 stitches to his lip and several other injuries to his face and head. He told the court that he still suffered from frequent headaches and knee problems to this day, as a result of the assault.

He denied having insulted or threatened the defendant or his uncle.

The second victim was a part time security guard at a nearby cinema. He told the court that he had heard sounds of a scuffle and when he looked towards the altercation, Sciberras had asked the man what he was looking at him for. The defendant had then kicked a nearby dustbin into the middle of the road.

“How clever you are,” was the guard’s sarcastic reaction to the outburst. No sooner had he spoken did the two men attack him, injuring his left eye, before running away on foot.

The security guard also needed stitches as a result of the attack, and was found to have suffered a fractured eye socket, but told the court that he fully recovered since then.

Two of his colleagues said they saw the two men running into the underground car park nearby, where they smashed a barrier and were seen snorting a substance thought to be cocaine.

After his arrest, Sciberras denied having used a knuckle duster, choosing to remain silent when confronted with CCTV footage showing him using one during the assault.

Magistrate Nadine Lia, deciding the case, said she could not but deplore the violent assault of a person who was doing his job and that Sciberras’ behaviour could never be justified.

The court also described Attard’s claim to have acted in self-defence as not believable. There was nothing to suggest that either of the victims had physically attacked the defendant, said the magistrate, finding him guilty of all charges, bar that of recidivism.

Police Inspector Leeroy Balzan Engerer prosecuted.

Lawyers Roberto Montalto and Joe Giglio represented the victims.

Lawyers Francesca Zarb was defence counsel to Sciberras.