Man breached protection order by allegedly anonymously calling former partner’s phone to speak to son

Accused, who has five-page long criminal record, breached protection order by calling his estranged partner’s phone to speak to his infant son, only to be reported to the police after he used a mild derogative to refer to her

File photo
File photo

A man was remanded in custody on Tuesday, accused of breaching a protection order by calling his estranged partner’s phone to speak to his infant son, only to be reported to the police after he used a mild derogative to refer to her.

Inspector Christian Cauchi charged the 39-year-old builder from Birkirkara with misuse of electronic telecommunications equipment, exceeding the limits of provocation in insulting the woman, breaching a protection order imposed in April and recidivism.

He told magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace that the police Domestic Violence Unit received a report at 9:15pm on June 9, from the man’s ex-partner, who is also the mother of his child.

The couple are in the midst of ongoing family court proceedings, in connection with which a protection order had been issued. 

Inspector Cauchi explained that the defendant had tried to call the woman a number of times on Facebook messenger, writing that he wanted to speak to her about their son.

When she failed to answer the calls and messages, the man had phoned her up, using an unknown phone number.

When the woman answered the call and realised it was the defendant, she had handed the phone to her 3-year-old son, who put the call on loudspeaker. The man told the boy “Aw qalbi, ħsibta mhux ha twiegeb dik il-minfuħa ommok (Hi my love, I thought your pompous mother wasn’t going to pick up the phone),” the court was told.

Lawyer Lennox Vella, assisting the man as defence counsel, pointed out to the court that his client had been speaking to his son, but the issue most troubling to the magistrate was that the phone belonged to the mother and that the call appeared to be a breach of the protection order.


A not guilty plea was entered, and bail was requested. “There are ongoing proceedings before the Family Court,” explained the lawyer. “A father must be able to speak to his son and the existence of a protection order does not impede this. Family proceedings should not be used as a weapon.”

The lawyer argued that when the woman had wanted to travel abroad, she had found no problem in leaving the boy with his father.

But the court said the protection order was “very clear,” in that he cannot initiate communication with her.“Whatever the situation, it’s her discretion. No communication. Nothing, zero, zilch.”

“How else can he speak to his three-year-old son?” asked the lawyer. The magistrate said that it was not clear at this stage who was baiting whom, but the law was clear on the matter on communication.

Vella submitted that the defendant is a gainfully employed builder, with no substance or alcohol abuse problems and satisfied all the legal requirements for bail. “He has clients waiting for his work. We know what she is going to testify, that she heard him say “dik il-minfuha ommok.”

“She reported him to the police for saying half a word, can you imagine what she’d do if he approached her? She’d go straight to the Domestic Violence Unit,” argued the lawyer.

The prosecution pointed out that the man had a criminal record that was five pages long.

The court denied bail at this stage.