Court hears how spurned lover broke down woman's door

Mentally ill man placed on probation after court hears how he kicked down a former lover's door and threatened her

A mentally ill man has been placed on probation after a court heard how he had kicked down a former lover's door and threatened her earlier this month.

The 43 year-old Qormi resident, Sonny Degabriele, was handed a three-year probation order after a court, presided by magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera was told that the man, who suffers from severe anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, had become depressed after a 7-year relationship with the woman fizzled out.

Police Inspector Roderick Agius told the court that the man smashed down the woman's door on the 2nd April 2016 and threatened her with violence, three months after the victim had confessed to the accused that she no longer felt any attraction to him.

The accused's attempts to rekindle the relationship were rejected and had led to him spiralling into depression. On the day before the incident, the two had spoken via telephone , which led the accused to hope, in vain, that the woman was reconsidering her position.

The man was pushed over the edge on April 2nd , when during another phone call to the victim, he had been told that she had “used him like toilet paper” and was seeking a relationship with three other men.

Psychiatrist Dr David Cassar Cassar, who had been treating the man for the last 20 years had reported the incident as an isolated one that “happened in the context of great loss and personal suffering”. The psychiatrist testified that the accused had felt “deceived, betrayed and used by a person who had become the most important person in his life.”

Cassar explained that the accused was a long-time sufferer of severe Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a condition which, amongst other things, led the accused to wear sunglasses at all times due to feelings of unattractiveness.

"Having spent time at the Forensic Unit at Mount Carmel Hospital, the accused seemed to have regained control of his emotions and had understood that the relationship was over," the psychiatrist reported.

He added that while there was no need to confine the accused at a psychiatric facility at present, he did need to follow a medication regime and undergo regular psychiatric evaluations.

Finding the man guilty, the magistrate placed him on probation for three years, on condition that the accused attend court with his probation officer at 6 month intervals in order to allow his behaviour to be monitored. The man was also ordered to remain in regular contact with Dr Cassar.

The man's love interest was placed under a protection order, prohibiting the man from approaching her or face a €2,329.37 fine or a prison sentence, or both.

Lawyer Lucio Sciriha appeared for Degabriele.