Pensioner admits to attacking building contractor who damaged to his house

Accused, 78, admits to having brandished a knife at a contractor who was building a block of flats next to his house in Żejtun after repeated incidents of damage being caused to his property

File photo
File photo

A 78-year-old man is to be sentenced later this month, after he admitted to having brandished a knife at a contractor who was building a block of flats next to his house in Żejtun.

Police inspector Doriette Cuschieri and prosecutor Jurgen Dalli from the Office of the Attorney General arraigned the pensioner before magistrate Gabriella Vella on Friday, charging him with attempted grievous bodily harm, carrying a knife in public without a permit, possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime, breaching the peace, attacking the contractor and threatening him.

Inspector Cuschieri told the court that the police had received a report yesterday at 6:50pm, filed by a contractor who said that the defendant had tried to stab him during a visit to his home.

The court was told that the reason for the contractor’s visit was to discuss repeated incidents of damage being caused to the elderly man’s house by construction work taking place next door, where a block of flats was being built.

At some point during that meeting, an argument had broken out, the contractor had told the police, claiming that the man had tried to attack him with a knife, forcing the contractor to take cover behind some scaffolding.

Asked by the court what he would be pleading, the defendant made an open-armed gesture and nodded. After briefly consulting with his lawyer, the man then replied that he was pleading guilty to the charges.

The court permitted the parties to approach the bench, where the case was discussed privately with the magistrate for several minutes.

Afterwards, the lawyers returned to their places and made their submissions on punishment.

Prosecution argued that in the punishment it would be handing down, the court had to take into account the serious nature of the offence.

Lawyer Jacob Magri, who is assisting the contractor together with lawyer Arthur Azzopardi as parte civile, insisted on a protection order being issued, asking the court to ensure that the incident didn’t repeat itself in the ten months which the construction project is expected to take to be completed.

The court adjourned the case to 29 April for sentencing.

Defence lawyers Errol Cutajar and Luke Valletta requested the man be granted bail until then, with the request being granted after the prosecution did not object.

The court upheld the defence’s request for bail, which was secured by a €500 deposit and a personal guarantee of €10,000, ordering the man to stay away from the contractor, in whose favour a protection order was also issued.

The court imposed a ban on the publication of the names of both of the parties involved.