Two youths charged with Blue Creek robbery, one admits

In separate arraignments today, Police Inspector Kylie Borg charged 20 year-old Keithien Borg from Hamrun as well as a 17 year-old boy with stealing cashfrom the Blue Creek Restaurant at Ghar Lapsi last Sunday.

Two young men have appeared in court charged with stealing up to €2000 from a restaurant over the weekend.

In separate arraignments today, Police Inspector Kylie Borg charged 20 year-old Keithien Borg from Hamrun as well as a 17 year-old boy with stealing cash from the Blue Creek Restaurant at Ghar Lapsi, during the early hours of last Sunday.

Borg had been arrested after he was found in Zebbug, driving a car identified from the restaurant's CCTV as the getaway vehicle. Clothes, not belonging to the accused, but that had also used in the robbery, were found in the car.

The accused, “King” tattooed over his right eyebrow, pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated theft, voluntary damage, breaching 3 probation orders and relapsing. Lawyer Noel Bartolo requested bail.

Inspector Borg objected to this, explaining to magistrate Neville Camilleri that the accused had admitted to responsibility during questioning. The youth had only left prison six months ago, said the inspector, started a job and was arrested for this offence just a week later. He had many previous convictions and had breached multiple probation orders, she added.

The defence argued that there was doubt as to the amount actually stolen, suggesting it was just €40. Bail should always be granted if the court was satisfied that the accused could be summoned to his sittings and that there was no risk of tampering with evidence, argued Bartolo. “The right to freedom outweighed the possible damage caused in the worst case scenario of a €40 theft.”

Borg was denied bail.

The clothes that were found in Borg's car belonged to a 17 year-old from Valletta, who was also arraigned under arrest on similar theft and criminal damage charges today. His father and mother, the strain etched on their faces, confirmed to the court that they did not wish their son to be represented by a lawyer.

Inspector Kylie Borg explained that the victim had claimed €2000 was stolen, but the individuals arrested had both said the takings were a meagre €40. They disagreed on how they had split the loot between themselves and an unidentified third person, however.

The accused pleaded guilty. As he was not assisted by an advocate, the court took the time to explain the serious consequences of his admission.

“Your conduct is clean so far and it will be sullied somewhat. Do you plan to dirty it further? Is this the example you want to give your younger brother?”

The accused said that he did not know why he had committed the crime and admitted to keeping bad company, from whom he said he was going to cut himself off.

The court, after giving the accused time to reconsider his admission, found him guilty as charged. Ruling that the young man needed direction, it placed him under probation for 18 months.

The court explained that a person would be appointed to guide him over the next 18 months and would give 6-monthly reports on his progress. There would be consequences for failing to obey the probation officer, warned the magistrate.

A ban on the publication of the name of the younger accused was imposed.