Nightclub assault on policeman earns man fine and suspended sentence

Istvan Meichl, 27, was handed a suspended sentence, as well as fines for violently resisting arrest and threatening the police

A man has been fined €4,000 and ordered to pay €1,685 in damages, as well as being handed a suspended sentence, after he admitted to punching a policeman in the face at a Paceville nightclub.

Gozo resident Istvan Meichl, from Hungary, was arraigned before magistrate Gabriella Vella this morning, charged with violently resisting and threatening the police, grievously injuring a police sergeant and damaging his watch. A number of other charges relating to being drunk and disorderly in a public place and disobeying police orders were also pressed.

Inspector Trevor Micallef explained how the 27-year-old had been pestering patrons at Hugo's Lounge, in Paceville, after having too much to drink. The management contacted the police, asking them to remove him from the premises.

Three officers spoke to the man, who suddenly lashed out and punched the ranking officer - a sergeant - in the face, breaking a tooth and damaging his watch, the inspector said.

Meichl's defence counsel, lawyer Kris Busietta, entered a guilty plea on the man's behalf.

The court sentenced the Hungarian to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 4 years, together with a €4,000 fine and a 4-year treatment order for alcoholism. He was also ordered to pay €1,685 for the damages caused to the victim.  

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