Horse disembowelled in latest twist to six-year family feud, court told

32-year-old man pleads not guilty to charges of threatening ex-partner's father after the latter killed his horse

A 32-year-old man from Qormi has been remanded in custody, having been charged with threatening his ex-partner’s father after the latter allegedly disembowelled his horse.

The man, whose name cannot be made public by order of the court, has a long history of convictions related to a family feud between him and his estranged partner’s family. The court heard how the man has three children with the woman. Police inspector Roderick Agius explained that the feud between the two families had been raging for years.

“I have known these families for six and a half years and I‘ve known of the problems from day one.Most of the criminal history of the accused is related to the issues raised by the family feud," the inspector explained.

On 17 December, the man had gone to the Zebbug police station saying that the woman’s father had provoked him by killing his horse and had threatened to leave the police station and kill him. Upon making this threat several times, the police officers on duty at the station arrested the man and charged him with making threats and making a public disturbance.

Defence lawyer Noel Bianco said that the root of the problem is related to a dispute over child custody. “Her father is going over and provoking him,” said the lawyer, pointing out that he had no real homicidal intent as a search of his van by the police returned no weapons.

Bail was requested. The prosecution argued against bail, saying that there were witnesses who were yet to testify and that the accused could not be trusted.

“He is not a bad man, “ said Inspector Agius, “but unless this problem is resolved we are going to have more incidents like this on a regular basis. Unfortunately every weekend the parties end up at the police station making police reports against each other. Sometimes for frivolous things, other times for more serious things... if released on bail, I am almost certain that the man will not abide by the conditions of his release.

Defence lawyer Noel Bianco asked the police officer whether he was aware of the backstory. “He went to the police station after they killed his horse. Disemboweled it actually.”

Bianco said that the man lives with his parents, who were present in the hall.. The accused was in sporadic employment, the court was told.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and was remanded in custody pending a decree on bail from chambers.

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