Truck driver conditionally discharged for 'quarry rage' attack

Court finds truck driver Marius Camilleri guilty of damaging rival's vehicle with a hoe after an argument over queue skipping

A 55 year old Qormi man has been ordered to pay €718 to a construction company whose truck he damaged with a hoe whilst in a fit of rage over queue jumping, six years ago.

The events date back to 20th April 2010, when the Birkirkara police station had recieved a report of a violent argument in a quarry belonging to Road Services Limited.

A former employee of Magħtab Construction Limited had testified to having arrived at the quarry to pick up a load of construction material. While he had been waiting for the load, the accused Marius Camilleri had climbed on to his truck and told him to get out of his way or get a kicking.

The witness had called up his boss, who told him to keep his place in the queue. But while the phonecall was being made, the accused allegedly picked up the rival company's truck with a mechanical shovel and moved it out of the way. The witness said that he had then hung up on his employer and moved his truck back into position.

It was at that point that the accused returned to threaten the witness with a hoe, smashing a mirror and smacking the vehicle's door with the farming implement and damaging both.

The accused had testified and said that the material he was picking up was very rarely available in Malta and there was only going to be one consignment of it that day, which consignment had been ordered by the accused.

He had been cleared to load up on the material, but had found the victim's truck blocking the way. The victim had only been cleared to load up on sand, he said. He used his mechanical shovel to move the victim's truck out of the way, but the other vehicle had reversed back into the spot.

When he went up to the other vehicle's cabin to remonstrate, the victim had hit him in the face with the cabin door. Camilleri said he had happened to have a hoe in his hand at the time and had used it to strike the other man's cabin door.

Magistrate Josette Demicoli, however felt the version of events told by the victim had been more likely and consistent and found Camilleri guilty of causing voluntary damage to the rival company's truck.

The defendant’s version of events was not credible, in view of photographic evidence exhibited during proceedings. The court also noted that this had been the second time the man had been charged with using such an implement to damage property.

Camilleri was found guilty of damaging the truck, but acquitted of separate charges of revilement and of recidivism. 

The man was conditionally discharged for 3 years and ordered to pay Magħtab Construction Limited €718 for the damages caused.

Superintendent Kevin Farrugia prosecuted.