Youths ordered to perform community service for stealing police crash helmet

Two men in their twenties have been ordered to perform community service after they admitted to stealing a police motorcycle helmet.

22 year-old David Cassar and Joseph Cassar, 20 from Imqabba and Marsa respectively, had appeared before magistrate Doreen Clarke, charged with the theft of the crash helmet. The crime was aggravated by the value and nature of the object stolen as well as the place it was stolen from.

The pair, who were also accused of recidivism, had pleaded guilty as charged.

With respect to the recidivism charge against Joseph Cassar, however, the court had noted that while he had been found guilty of offences on two previous occasions, he was conditionally discharged both times.

“It is well established that a conditional discharge...cannot be deemed to be a previous conviction for the purposes of recidivism.”

The younger Cassar was cleared of that charge. David Cassar, however had been found guilty on five previous occasions, receiving conditional discharges, a suspended sentence and fines.

In its considerations on sentencing the men, the court noted the early guilty plea, the men's cooperation with police and the fact that they had repaid the value of the stolen item. David Cassar was adjudged to have a problem with drug abuse that needed to be addressed, it said and both accused had psychological conditions that required treatment.

In a pre-sentencing report which had been prepared by a probation officer, the court was urged to place the pair under a probation order, which would allow these issues to be addressed. This suggestion was adopted by the court.

They were also ordered to perform community service, in spite of the the difficulties that the men would face due to their long working hours.

“The court is of the opinion, having seen their criminal records, that in this case it is essential that the accused understand the seriousness of their actions."

Referring to their criminal records, the courts had given the men opportunities to address their problems in the past and said it was convinced that it should give them one last chance to do so.

The men were both handed treatment orders and ordered to perform community service. Joseph Cassar was placed on probation for two years and ordered to perform 40 hours of service in the community whilst David Cassar was placed on probation for 3 years and ordered to complete 80 hours of community service.

Lawyer Charmaine Cherrett appeared for the two men.

Inspector Roderick Agius prosecuted.