Homeless man in custody on multiple theft charges

A homeless man has been remanded in custody after he was accused of committing several thefts and with making off with a 73 -year old woman's handbag last Sunday.

Homeless man in custody on multiple theft charges
Homeless man in custody on multiple theft charges

Christopher Mifsud, 28, was arraigned before magistrate Marseanne Farrugia this afternoon, accused of on October 2nd, having “knowingly causing an elder adult to suffer in circumstances likely to cause bodily harm,” the aggravated theft of the 73-year old’s handbag and with stealing another handbag from a parked car in Qormi on 30th September. He pleaded guilty to the charges.
Mifsud also denied charges related to two separate thefts of cash from a kebab shop in Qormi, thefts of donations boxes from two Qormi pharmacies and the stealing of a mobile phone from a pharmacy in Sliema.
Police Inspector Fabian Fleri who is prosecuting, together with Inspector Kylie Borg told the court that Sunday's bag-snatching attack occurred in Qormi in an area covered by two CCTV cameras. The police had recognised the accused from the footage and the victim had picked his photo out of several others shown to her.
Police had called for Mifsud at his parents' house, but were told that he had been kicked out of the house some time before, because he had been found to have stolen from his parents too. Police had recognised and apprehended him, after he was spotted walking in Ghaxaq. He had been wearing the same clothes as in the CCTV footage, the court was told, and this had helped in his identification.
The prosecution objected to bail because the accused had no fixed address and because of the risk of the accused approaching witnesses who had yet to testify. Mifsud had consistently told the police that he was homeless, the inspector said, adding that the man didn't have a cent on his person at the time of his arrest, and that the mobile phone he had been carrying had run out of battery.
The accused's long conviction sheet did not help his case for bail.
Lawyer Francina Abela, legal aid to the accused, argued that his sentence had been served, and that he had left prison a year and a half ago. He had tried to go to his parents’ house after his release but they had turned him away after an argument with his father, she said, adding that he could go back to his parents house if they relented or a residence in Birzebbugia.
But the court was told that the police had checked the Birzebbugia residence and found that he had left a month ago, after running out of rent money.
The court denied bail, citing the risk of contamination of evidence, the accused's extensive criminal record and in view of the accused's inability to specify where he would be staying if released on bail.