Thief and rapist is jailed after escaping from police officers

Court hands Mumin Trabulè a sentence of six months’ imprisonment, revokes his bail and confiscates €7000 bail deposit

A convicted thief and rapist from the Ivory Coast has been jailed once again after he admitted to trying to escape from police officers.

Mumin Trabulè was arraigned before magistrate Anthony Vella this morning, accused of breaching bail conditions after he tried to hide from police.

Police inspectors Trevor Micallef and Malcolm Bondin explained to the court that a man had been seen squatting next to a parked car by a police patrol at around 9:45pm near the Qawra Palace hotel in Qawra. Upon spotting the police car, the man had tried to sprint away but was arrested in a nearby street.

The 35 year-old was arrested and immediately identified as Mumin Trabulè. Trabulè, who goes by five aliases – Moumen Trouse, Mumen Traore, Mouman Troure and Mumin Trabulè – was on bail pending several criminal proceedings.

The accused is well known to the police and had served an eight-year sentence after being convicted of the rape and violent indecent assault of two Maltese women, a conviction he had unsuccessfully appealed. He had also pleaded guilty to stealing items from Paceville in September 2014.

Trabulè was also arrested twice in the space of a week in March this year; first after a capsule of a brown substance, suspected to be heroin, was found on his person during a spot-check outside the Marsa open centre. He was rearrested a few days later, when he had gone to pay his €450 bail deposit while carrying a sachet of cannabis grass in his pocket.

He had also been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment early last month for theft and is understood to have been on bail pending an appeal.

The defendant declined to testify today, telling his translator that he has nothing to say, however he later said that he had forgotten to go sign in time and “had not been more than ten minutes late.”

His lawyer Dr Noel Bartolo asked one of the officers who arrested the accused whether the accused had been arrested out of his curfew. The officer replied that he was already at the police station by 10pm, but added that the place where the accused was arrested was a 30-minute walk away from his home and he had not been carrying any money on him.

The prosecution asked for the maximum punishment to be inflicted together with the seizure of his bail deposit.

Defence submitted that this had been the first time that the accused had been found in breach of bail. “He had been granted bail some time ago, if he didn’t want to obey them he would have done so before,” his lawyer argued, objecting to the request for maximum punishment.

The accused recognised that he had erred and there was no need “to use an iron fist on him,” Bartolo argued. “I think he ran off when he saw the police car and realised what time it was he panicked.”

The Magistrate observed that the court of magistrates could not revoke a bail decree granted by the superior courts and requested that an ad hoc application be made to that court for this.

The court found him guilty and sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment, revoked the bail granted by magistrates court and confiscated his deposit and personal guarantee. He abstained from deciding on the breach of the conditions laid down by the court of criminal appeal.

Trabulè’s €7,000 personal guarantee was also confiscated.