Rachel Bowdler murderer pleads not guilty to drug charges

Jason Decelis, who is serving a 25-year-jail term for his part in the death of 18-year-old Rachel Bowdler, pleads not guilty to attempting to receive smuggled drugs

The man behind the disturbance at the courts yesterday, in which he was arrested while allegedly being handed drugs by a woman during a court hearing, has been arraigned before magistrate Aaron Bugeja in connection with the incident.

37-year-old Jason Decelis, who is already serving a 25-year-jail term for his part in the death of 18-year-old Rachel Bowdler, was charged by Inspector Nikolai Sant with possession of cocaine and heroin in circumstances that denoted they were not for his personal use.

Decelis had been in court for a drug-related case before Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras yesterday, when court officials observed him being handed something in the courtroom by a woman named Rita Zammit.

Zammit, 57, was also charged with the procurement and possession of the drugs in separate proceedings today.

Both Decelis and Zammit pleaded not guilty.

Zammit was granted bail against a deposit of €3,000 and a personal guarantee of €9,000. Decelis was returned to the Corradino Correctional Facility.

The body of Rachel Bowdler had been found by a farmer in a field in an area known as Ras il-Ġebel, limits of Mġarr, on May 13, 2001.

The Decelis family, Carmel and his wife Conċetta, both 64 and their son Jason, were jailed after being found guilty of Bowdler's murder by omission - the first conviction of its kind in Malta.

They had failed to take Bowdler to hospital after she suffered an overdose whilst taking drugs with Jason in 2006 and were held to be responsible for her death.

Decelis was jailed for 15 years for her role in Bowdler’s death. Her son Jason received a 25-year sentence for his part and her husband Carmel was found guilty of involuntary homicide and sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison.

In February David Gatt, who had sold the fatal dose of heroin to Bowdler, received a four-year sentence for involuntary homicide and a fine of €2,329 after he admitted to the charges.

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