Court unimpressed by streaking rugby players' barefaced cheeks

Two French rugby players charged €250 each for streaking through the streets of Mdina as 'punishment' for a poor performance 

A pair of French rugby union players who who were arrested yesterday while streaking through the streets of Mdina, were conditionally discharged this morning.

The 21-year-old and 19-year-old players were presented under arrest before Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras by Inspector Neville Mercieca.

Police were alerted to the two men running around the Silent City in the buff by a fellow officer manning a fixed point outside the residence of former EU ambassador Richard Cachia Caruana

The pair were arrested yesterday at around 4pm near Villegaignon street in Mdina, having already passed in front of the Cathedral.

They are understood to form part of the ESSEC team, one of five participating in the International Clubs Tournament at Marsa.

This morning the men were charged with committing an offence against decency or morals in a public place.

A series of photographs of the now highly embarrassed men were taken by a passer-by and exhibited in the courtroom, much to the amusement of those present. The men had released a statement to police after refusing legal advice, the court was told.

Lawyer Victor Bugeja, appearing as legal aid to the two men, told the court that the accused were pleading guilty to the charges. He said that they understood the implications of the charges and had explained to police that they had performed the humiliating act to make up for a poor performance during a previous match. The men are due to leave Malta on Saturday morning after their next game.

“So this was a form of punishment,” remarked the magistrate, adding that their punishment was going to get worse. 

Bugeja highlighted their early admission and cooperation with police in the hope of mitigating punishment.

The court conditionally discharged the men for six months and fined them €250 each.