Gzira couple accused of robbing neighbour at knife point

25-year-old man and 49-year-old girlfriend remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to Testaferrata Street robbery.

An unemployed couple who allegedly robbed a neighbour at knife point were today remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to threatening and robbing Robert Thomas Owen.

The accused, Clayton Fenech, 25, of Gzira, and his girlfriend, Josephine Grixti, 49, of Valletta, also denied holding the victim against his will, handling stolen property, of being in possession of a penknife, and of relapsing.

Grixti was also charged with committing the crime during the operative period of a suspended sentence, and of loitering for prostitution.

The incident occurred on 21 July at about 1:00am, when allegedly, the victim – who was on his way home from work – was walking along Testaferrata Street in Gzira. The court heard that at one point, Grixti approached the victim and asked him for a cigarette.

Prosecuting inspector Carlos Cordina told the court that upon producing the cigarette, Fenech allegedly threatened the victim with a penknife and robbed him.

On his part, lawyer Anthony Stellini told the court that the “facts of the story are very different,” while one of the accused, Fenech, accused the inspector of “lying and of making the story up.”

In submissions for bail, the prosecution said the accused cannot be trusted because they changed their address three times, and police had in fact been searching for them since July 24. The prosecution said that bail should be withheld because the victim lives nearby.

Magistrate Charmaine Galea rejected bail and remanded the accused in custody.

Inspector Carlos Cordina prosecuted while Lawyer Anthony Stellini was legal aid.