Court orders psychiatric treatment following botched theft attempt

The man, who is not being named on account of his psychiatric problems, appeared before magistrate Monica Vella, charged with the attempted aggravated theft

A court has denied bail to a 41-year-old Libyan man, who appeared before it this afternoon on charges of attempted theft from a parked car in Hamrun.

The man, who is not being named on account of his psychiatric problems, appeared before magistrate Monica Vella, charged with the attempted aggravated theft, causing voluntary damage to a parked Daihatsu in Schembri Street in Hamrun during the evening of the 22nd January and with breaching previous bail conditions.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Lawyer Joseph Mizzi, appointed as legal aid to the accused, argued that the alleged crime was not a serious one and that there was no risk that the man approach the car's owners as did not know who they were. The defence asked the court to grant the man bail.

Prosecuting Police Inspector Robert Said Sarreo took issue with the defence's claim that the crime was “not serious.”

The accused had only failed to carry out the theft because he was caught, he said. The inspector also informed the court that the accused was struggling with drug addiction and was struggling with mental health issues.

The man should be remanded in custody, the prosecution argued, suggesting he be detained at Mount Carmel mental hospital as he was a suicide risk.

Magistrate Monica Vella denied bail, ruling that the accused was evidently untrustworthy on account of his failure to change his ways, in spite of being given an opportunity to do so.

The court referred the man to Mount Carmel’s forensic unit, ordering that he received treatment as necessary.

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