Man accused of sexually assaulting 12-year-old boy at Birżebbuġa square

The accused told the court that he was 22 years old and that he resided “outside,” at Birżebbuġa

File photo
File photo

A man was remanded in custody on Tuesday after being accused of groping a-12 year-old boy in a public square in Birżebbuġa.

Police Inspectors John Spiteri and Andrew Agius Bonello, assisted by prosecutor Jennifer Polidano, arraigned Jar Annabi Mohammad Abdallah from Sudan before magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo.

Abdallah remonstrated with his interpreter in a loud voice standing in the dock before the arraignment began. 

The defendant, who was assisted by legal aid lawyer Ingrid Zammit Young, pleaded not guilty to charges of committing a non-consensual act of a sexual nature on the 12 year-old boy in Birżebbuġa, offending public morals and harassing the boy. Abdallah ws also accused of subjecting the victim to an uninvited act of physical intimacy and being drunk and incapable of taking care of himself in a public place.

Abdallah told the court that he was 22 and that he resided “outside,” at Birżebbuġa. The prosecution explained that the man had no fixed place of residence and was unemployed. 

Bail was not requested. 

The court upheld the prosecution’s requests for a ban on the publication of the name of the alleged victim and for a protection order in favour of the victim and members of his family.

When he was asked to sign the protection order towards the end of the sitting, Abdallah once again started to shout, leading the court to warn him that if he raised his voice again he would be made to regret it.

Eventually, inspector John Spiteri dictated a note in the acts of the proceedings, stating that the defendant had chosen not to sign the order, even though it had been translated to him by the interpreter.  

The magistrate highlighted the fact that a protection order’s authority and validity emerges from the court and would be imposed regardless of whether he chose to sign it or not.

The man was remanded in custody. The police investigation into the incident is ongoing and related arraignments are understood to be a possibility at this stage.