Pasqualino Cefai 'threatened to kill magistrate and gouge out policeman’s eyes'

Court hears witness describe how Pasqualino Cefai threatened to kill magistrate, police officer and police officer's family.

Magistrate Miriam Hayman told investigating police officers that a man who attempted to assault her, “threatened to kill her, and a police officer,” a court heard today.

The remark was made this morning by Sergeant Duncan Demicoli during the compilation of evidence against 39-year-old Pasqualino Cefai who is currently being remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to attempting to assault a magistrate and five police officials on October 2.

The incident occurred at around 11:30am, when allegedly, Pasqualino Cefai – who earlier this year was jailed for seven years for stabbing a man in a Gozo courtroom - lost his temper during a separate court case.

Taking the witness stand, Sergeant Duncan Demicoli, told the court that after being called in by the magistrate’s bailiff, he went to Hall 7 where the alleged assault occurred.

“I saw Cefai surrounded by police officers. He was pushing people and swearing. He was then taken into the lock-up downstairs, where he broke a mirror, and also banged his head on a locker,” he explained.

“After, his [Cefai’s] lawyer came down and the situation calmed down, I went to collect the evidence. Magistrate Miriam Hayman told me that he threatened to kill her, and that he had also threatened to kill Inspector Johan Fenech and his family,” the Sergeant said.

On his part, escorting officer Constable Ryan Borg Ungaro explained that the incident occurred after Pasqualino Cefai was fined for contempt in court – a punishment which according to the police officer made Cefai “lose his temper.”

“Prior to the start of the sitting, Cefai stood up and told the magistrate that his lawyer had not arrived, and at this point, the magistrate told him to get out.”

“Cefai started shouting, and the magistrate fined him for contempt in court. Cefai then told the magistrate that she was taking money out of his children’s mouths, and told her that she ‘would pay’,” the police officer said.

Subsequently, the officer said that Cefai attempted to assault the magistrate, several police officers and tore up his blazer. At this point, the witness told the court that the magistrate went inside her chambers and told police to arrest Cefai and take him outside.

“I managed to put one handcuff on his right arm, and after a lot of pushing, we managed to take him outside. I heard Cefai telling [Inspector] Johan Fenech that he ‘would pay, and to remember that his siblings were outside’.”

“After going downstairs to the lock up, Cefai told me to take his handcuffs off. I reached my keys, and he then approached me and told me that if I cuff him again, he will gouge my eyes out,” he said while adding that Cefai had slightly injured his arm.

39-year-old Pasqualino Cefai, of Zebbug, Gozo, is currently being remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to the charges to a total of 10 charges, amongst which include assaulting and threatening a magistrate, to resisting arrest, to disobeying police orders, to slightly injuring a police officer, and to relapsing.

Inspector Daryl Borg prosecuted, while Lawyers Edward Gatt and Noel Bianco represented Pasqualino Cefai. Magistrate Audrey Demicoli presided.

The case has been adjourned until October 31 at 11:30am.