Man, 64, brandished firearm during argument, court hears

Accused released on bail after pulling out firearm during argument on Tuesday

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

A 64-year-old man from Xemxija has been released on bail, pending the completion of a pre-sentencing report, after admitting to brandishing a firearm during an argument on Tuesday.

The man, whose name is subject to a court-imposed ban on publication, was arraigned before Magistrate Leonard Caruana on Thursday afternoon.

Police Inspector Clayton Camilleri told the court that at around 8pm on 19 December, the police had received a report that a man had pulled out a firearm during an argument. Police officers went to the scene and brought the situation under control, after which the man was arrested. Subsequent searches had recovered another weapon from the defendant’s possession, he said.

The man in the dock admitted the charges when asked to enter his plea.

The court informed the defendant that it would ask him whether he wished to confirm his admission in a few minutes’ time, warning him that if he did, it would have to proceed with handing down punishment.

After adjourning the sitting for nearly 30 minutes for the defendant to consult with his lawyer, the magistrate once again asked what he was pleading. “Guilty,” came back the reply.

Defence lawyer RIchard Sladden requested a pre-sentencing report be ordered, to examine the circumstances which led to the crime. Prosecutor Kevin Valletta agreed with the necessity of the request, suggesting that the court make provisions for the safety of the other parties in the interim period.

The court ordered the Probation Services to draw up the report.

Lawyer Manuel Galea, representing the victim, said that in view of the charges, it would be in the interest of all parties that a restraining order also be issued with regards to his client. The request was upheld, with the court warning the defendant that he faced an additional period of up to two years in prison and a €7,000 fine should he breach it.

Sladden requested bail for his client, arguing that the restraining order rendered the defendant’s continued detention under arrest unnecessary.

After hearing the parties’ submissions on the matter, the court released the man from arrest, secured by a €2,000 deposit and a €5,000 personal guarantee, until the pre-sentencing report is filed in February next year.