Would-be car thief jailed, sent to rehab

Court rebukes a 23-year-old man, charged with two counts of aggravated theft and criminal damage, saying his continued drug use was putting his hardworking family in a bad light

A court has warned a young man with a history of drug problems to make the most of an opportunity to overcome his drug addiction after jailing him for a year for attempted theft.

Magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace warned 23-year-old Jacob Rakban of Mtarfa, who was charged with two counts of aggravated theft and criminal damage after damaging two parked vehicles in an attempt to break into them on Wednesday morning in Pieta’.

Inspector Robert Vella told the court that the man was already under two probation orders, had a long history of drug problems and had gone through rehab several times.

Lawyer Josette Sultana, appointed as legal aid, argued that the man was accused of attempts and not the completed offence of theft. “In the circumstances I would request that he is given help... Prison is not ideal.”

The court rebuked the man, saying his continued drug use was putting his hardworking family in a bad light.

“You need to start thinking of yourself and your family. You’re not 17 anymore but 23 years old, you’re not a boy anymore. Does your mother deserve this kind of worry? She’s at university trying to improve herself instead of relaxing at home, that shows what kind of woman she is,” chided the magistrate.

Rakban pleaded guilty and requested a treatment order for drug addiction. He was handed a custodial one-year sentence, together with a treatment order and a recommendation that he be allowed to follow a drug rehabilitation programme.

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