Zejtun man jailed for 2011 sex attack on Hungarian woman

A man has been jailed for 18 months for the 2011 violent indecent assault of a Hungarian woman in St Julian’s

The man had then grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth and had beat his victim, tearing off her clothes, despite her resistance
The man had then grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth and had beat his victim, tearing off her clothes, despite her resistance

A 26-year-old man from Zejtun has been jailed for 18 months for the 2011 violent indecent assault of a Hungarian woman in St Julian’s.

Jurgen Zahra was accused of assaulting the woman during the early hours of 26 June 2011, when she had been walking in the area between Paceville and San Gwann. The victim had walked past the Regional Road tunnels, down the hill towards San Gwann, in the area of Birkirkara Road when Zahra, who had been drunk at the time, slowed his car down to try and chat up the woman.

After the woman had ignored his attempts to make conversation, he had tried to grab her hand, but she had escaped, crying for help while running towards the playground in Birkirkara Road, which lies under the Regional Road overpass.

The court was told that she had noticed a car similar to Zahra's had stopped by the playground with its door open and headlamps on.

The man had then grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth and had beat his victim, tearing off her clothes, despite her resistance. Unable to see clearly, having lost her glasses whilst running away, the woman started screaming for help. He had been struggling to remove her underwear when four passers-by saw what was happening and started shouting at the man to stop.

Zahra had then run away to his car and drove off. The group had noted down the license plate number of the accused’s vehicle relayed this information to the police in an emergency call.

Magistrate Ian Farrugia, presiding over the case, remarked that violence was never something to be treated lightly, and in the context of a violent indecent assault “the accused needed to made to understand that he had made a terrible mistake and that he should not expect that the law would be merciful towards him.”

The court noted that despite Zahra's obvious intention, the court had to act according to the law and could therefore not find him guilty of the charge of attempted rape, as the crime required genital contact.

Zahra was, however, found guilty of violent indecent assault, holding the woman against her will, using violence to impose his will, slightly injuring her and offending public morals, being sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment and fined €1,150, as well as being ordered to pay court expenses amounting to €1,644.

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