Cocaine-fuelled Samurai sword assault, ‘he thought he saw the devil’

‘He saw the devil’, police say of Samurai-sword attack in cocaine bender

Cocaine (File photo)
Cocaine (File photo)

A man accused of nearly killing his friend with a Samurai sword during a six-day cocaine bender had told police he thought his friend was the devil.

The case against Josef Grech, 33 from Bormla, continued on Tuesday in front of Magistrate Gabriella Vella. Grech is being charged with grievously injuring his friend, Marco Rapinett, on Saturday 11 November. He is also being charged with attacking and threatening the man, and also with recidivism.

According to Inspector Paul Camilleri, Rapinett’s arm was covered in blood when he went to the Bormla police station asking for help. He told police that he was assaulted by Grech, with this admission captured on police body cam.

Rapinett later fell unconscious and was taken to hospital for treatment. He was released days later and gave the police more details about the incident.

According to Camilleri, the victim said he had been taking cocaine with the accused, who at one point became paranoid and attacked him with the sword.

Eventually, the police officers went to arrest Grech, and found him sitting on the doorstep of his house. Grech told the police that he had mistaken his friend for the devil.

“I thought him the devil, I thought him the devil,” he repeated.

Grech was also taken to hospital, with the police suspecting intoxication. When he was released for questioning, he chose not to answer any questions.

Rapinett told the court that he had been taking cocaine with the accused for a week before the incident. The two have known each other since birth, with Rapinett assuming that Grech did not realise what he was doing at the time of the incident.

“He absolutely, one hundred percent, did not know what he was doing or that he hit me with the sword,” Rapinett told the court.

At the end of the hearing, the accused was granted bail against a deposit of €1,000 and a personal guarantee of €7,000.

Inspector Paul Camilleri was assisted by prosecutor Cynthia Tomasuolo from the Attorney General's Office. Lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri assisted Josef Grech.