Youth baffled after magistrate's curfew disrupts his drinking plans

A 19-year-old accused of driving a stolen car asked the magistrate who granted him bail whether a court-imposed curfew would come into effect immediately as he had plans to go out for a drink

A 19-year-old man from Paola who appeared in front of a magistrate to face charges of driving a stolen car was baffled by the immediacy of the court's decision to impose a curfew as part of bail conditions.

The young man, whose name cannot be published by court order, looked at Magistrate Josette Demicoli and asked her whether the curfew would come into effect immediately since he had plans to go out for a drink tonight.

The question earned him a stern warning from the magistrate. Demicoli explained in no uncertain terms the consequences of him breaching  bail conditions.

The young man was accused of driving a Ford Escort which did not belong to him and without the permission of its owner in Tarxien, at around 2:30am on Monday.

He was also charged with handling stolen goods and with failing to inform the police when the vehicle, which had been lost or stolen, ended up in his possession. 

The youth was further accused of operating a car without insurance cover and driving in a reckless manner.

His lawyer, Leontine Calleja, requested a ban on the publication of the name of the accused due to his age and the fact that he was currently seeking employment. The prosecution did not object, noting that there were ongoing investigations which could be prejudiced by the publication of the name. The court upheld the prosecution's request for the ban.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and requested bail. The defence also asked the court to impose a provisional supervision order on the accused.

After considering the matter for some time, the magistrate released the accused on bail against a €5,000 personal guarantee, ordering him to observe a curfew.

The court also placed the man under the supervision of a probation officer to help him stay on the straight and narrow.

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