'Colourful' criminal Joseph Cini, il-Pele, jailed for confronting warden

Jailbird Joseph Cini, better known by his nickname il-Pele, has been jailed for seven months and fined €4,500  for insulting and mocking a warden

Joseph Cini known as il-Pele
Joseph Cini known as il-Pele

Joseph Cini, known by his nickname il-Pele, has been jailed for seven months and fined €4,500 after he was found guilty of breaching the peace after confronting a local warden.

Cini, a one-time fugitive whose expansive criminal record was noted by the court, had been accused of insulting and threatening a female warden who was ticketing his vehicle. He was also accused of breaching the peace, using obscene language, failing to obey her lawful orders and relapsing.

The warden in question had told magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech how she had been ticketing double-parked vehicles on Guardamangia hill last June when the accused walked up to her, swearing, insulting her and mocking her appearance, before swiping off her headdress. “He said many things about me in a public place that really humiliated me,” she told the court.

Cini’s female companion had also taken the keys out of the warden’s car ignition, the court was told, but Cini had handed them back. The warden’s account was corroborated by her colleague who happened to be working nearby.

The accused had testified and categorically denied knocking off the warden’s cap, although he conceded that he had accidentally hit it whilst waving his arms around. He also denied insulting the warden, but did admit to being upset because he felt he was being discriminated against by the warden not ticketing other double parked vehicles.

After examining the facts in the light of relevant legal doctrines, the court ruled that the evidence proved that Cini was guilty.

Cini, one of the country’s most prolific criminals, was cleared of the charge of recidivism due to a technicality, however the court made it clear that he was “no first-time offender” and had a “colourful and voluminous criminal record.”

“The accused appears to have learned nothing from the mistakes of his past and therefore the court has no option but to impose a prison sentence,” said the magistrate. A sentence of seven months imprisonment was meted out, together with a fine of €4,500.

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