Man jailed for ripping gold necklaces off elderly sisters

48-year-old man jailed for four years after being found guilty of snatching gold necklaces off two elderly sisters in 2012

A 48-year-old man who preyed on elderly victims before robbing them was today jailed for four years after being found guilty of ripping gold necklaces off two elderly sisters’ necks in 2012.

Simon Camilleri, 48, of Cospicua, was also found guilty of threatening the sisters, of handling stolen property, of breaching bail conditions, and of relapsing.

Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera heard that on November 18, 2012, the victims, aged 79 and 82, were returning home from mass at a nearby church in Triq il-Madonna tal-Ghar, Mellieha in the vicinity of the Sanctuary of Our Lady church.

 While making their way down the steps, the victims spotted the accused waiting for them at the end of the steps.

Describing their assailant as wearing dark sunglasses, a white shirt and a baseball cap, the sisters told the court that upon they made their way down the stairs, the accused ran past them, snatching their gold necklaces in process before speeding off in his car.

Passers-by heard the women’s screams, while a woman who was close-by took note of the accused’s number plate. Police subsequently tracked down the car to the accused, and subsequently arrested him.

During their testimony, the victims identified the accused as their assailant.

Rebutting the charges, the accused at first denied that he was in Mellieha, saying this was a long way from Cospicua. However, he then changed his version of events, claiming that he had went to Mellieha to meet up with a woman. Asked who was this alleged woman, the accused gave vague answers.

Notwithstanding the man’s rebuttal, Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera insisted that given that the accused’s car was spotted moments after the theft had been carried out, the court had not doubt that the accused was involved.

Moreover, the court said that after analysing the testimony of the victims and several passers-by, the prosecution had sufficiently proven that the accused had in fact carried out the theft.

In her judgement, Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera was in a less than forgiving mood, insisting that it is grossly unjust for two elderly women minding their own business to fall prey to a thief, and that as a result, an effective prison term is just.

Moreover, the court said that since the accused had been given several opportunities to reform, but continued to leading a life of crime. AS a result, an effective prison term was the solution, and sentenced him to four years in jail.

Police Inspectors Carlos Cordina and Gabriel Micallef prosecuted. 

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