Assault on policeman costs man €2,300 and 13 months in jail

Man sentenced to a total of thirteen months in jail after punching police officer

A man who, whilst out on bail, punched a traffic policeman who had stopped his vehicle, has been sentenced to a total of thirteen months imprisonment by a court.

Police Inspector Kevin Farrugia, prosecuting, had told Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit how 37 year-old Roderick Cilia of Zejtun had been stopped by a traffic policeman in Hamrun in March.

The police officer had told the court that he had stopped the vehicle because he had seen Cilia accepting money from another man, identified as Andrew Bezzina, and had suspected a drug deal had just taken place.

Approached and asked by the officer to hand over what he had been holding, Cilia punched the officer before being apprehended in his attempt to escape.

The accused had told the magistrate that he had met with Bezzina because he had been owed €10 for a mobile phone which he had sold him – a statement which had been corroborated by Bezzina. When Bezzina handed him the money, he said, he was approached by a man - whom he did not know and who did not identify himself as a police officer - who grabbed his wallet and made off with it.

The court, however, was not convinced by his account, pointing out that a police officer had no reason to steal his wallet and found him guilty of assaulting the police officer, disobeying his orders, threatening him and relapsing.

In addition, however, court noted that he had not complied with one of his bail conditions, which meant the forfeiture of his €300 deposit as well as his €2,000 personal guarantee.

Cilia was jailed for nine months for the assault and a further four months for failing to abide by his bail conditions.

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