Fomer Arriva bus driver found guilty of hitting policeman

Syrian man order to carry out community service after being found guilty of hitting and insulting a policeman during heated argument in 2011

A Syrian man who worked as a bus driver with Arriva has been ordered to carry out 40 horus of community service after he was found guilty of hitting a policeman during a heated argument in 2011.

Mohammed Hamdan was also found guilty of insulting the police officer, of resisting arrest and of breaching a conditional discharge.

The incident occurred on 14 August 2011, when Hamdan was stopped by a traffic policeman in Cirkewwa.

The court heard that the accused was driving to work when he was stopped for driving his wife's car without a rear number plate and, as a result, the police asked the accused for his particulars so he could fine him.

Taking exception to the request, the accused is said to have launched a barrage of abuse at the police officer and refused to give him his details. At one point, the argument escalated and the accused hit the policeman on his helmet.

In a pre-sentencing report, a probation officer argued that community service, rather than a fine or prison sentence, would suffice. In its decree, the court presided by Magistrate Anthony Micallef Trigona, upheld the request and ordered the man to carry out 40 hours of community service.

Inspector Jason Grima prosecuted.