Men deny restaurant fracas over drink spilled by child

Two men from Paola were accused of grievously injuring an elderly Dutch man and slightly injuring his wife over a fracas at a restaurant, caused when a child spilled water on a tourist

Two men from Paola have been granted bail after they were charged over a fracas at a restaurant, caused when a child spilled water on a tourist, which ended up with the child’s parents upending chairs and tables.

Hossam Amgad Anwar Aly Elnily, 21, and Alessandro Tabone, 34, both from Paola were accused of grievously injuring an elderly Dutch man and slightly injuring his wife in an incident on Friday at the Seabank Hotel in Mellieha.

The 66-year-old Dutch man took the witness stand to explain how he and his wife had gone to eat at a Brazilian restaurant and a child sitting opposite the couple had thrown water on his wife’s jacket. The woman had changed places and continued eating. The child then kicked the back of her seat and she had changed places again, he said.

“The mother came up saying you don’t like my child. Then suddenly this man (Tabone) who was sitting near the mother of this child became angry and said bad words and then he stood up …”

“This man wanted to fight but I didn’t come to Malta to fight, he pushed me several times and cut my ear...Then he threw a chair at me. The second man threw two tables. My wife was pushed on the ground, injuring her leg. I remember a woman with red hair who tried to calm these two people but they continued. It was a lot of aggression without any reason.”

Franco Debono cross examined suggesting that he had gestured to the men. He denied this and said he had nothing in his hands. “I’m not a killer, I’m a tourist. I was eating my dessert.”

His wife took the stand next, explaining in broken English that she had been confronted by the child’s mother and had told her to keep an eye on her offspring. She was sworn at, the accused had pushed her husband and kicked her, she said. “The other man picked up a chair and hit him with it repeatedly. There was blood,” she said. He then flipped the table, breaking the glasses, plates and the table. She showed the court a scratch on her leg which she said she suffered when she was pushed to the ground by Tabone.

The defence entered a plea of not guilty and requested bail for the pair, which was granted against a personal guarantee of €1,000.

Lawyer Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia were defence counsel.

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