Three teenage girls tried to set fire to French woman's hair in Paceville ambush

The three girls broke the girl's arm, before pulling her by the hair and trying to set it on fire, the court heard

A violent incident at a bar in Paceville landed three Spanish teenage girls in the dock this morning.

The three teens had been at a party on 21 July when an argument broke out with a 24-year-old French student. They had waited for her outside the venue and set upon their victim, dragging her by her hair and breaking her arm in the process. The girls were allegedly about to set her hair on fire when a male friend of the victim intervened and the girls fled. 

The police were later tipped off that the girls were staying at a particular hotel, which is where they were arrested. The injured girl’s father, who lives in Malta, was present in court today.

Maria Concepcion Gimeno Canuto, 18, and two other girls, aged 16 and 17, who cannot be named on account of their age, appeared before magistrate Ian Farrugia, accused of grievous bodily harm, or participation in an accidental affray, having provoked a tumult with the intention of committing homicide or bodily harm and disturbing the peace.

The prosecution explained that the charges of affray and tumult were alternative to the charge of grievous bodily harm.

Magistrate Ian Farrugia warned the three assailants that they would not be going home until the case was decided. “If the case takes two years, you will be in Malta for two years,” he said.

The court gave the accused the opportunity to call their parents in Spain and brief them on what was going on.

After a few minutes, the girls’ lawyers Franco Debono, Marion Camilleri and Daniel Buttigieg returned with a plea.

The girls reluctantly pleaded guilty and were severely admonished by the Court, which warned them not to come back to Malta and repeat their criminal behaviour or they would go to prison.

“Cut out this showing off!” shouted the magistrate.

Franco Debono suggested the court impose a conditional discharge, pointing out the early guilty plea and the youth of the guilty trio.

The court agreed. Finding them guilty of grievous bodily harm and creating a disturbance, the magistrate sentenced the girls to a three-year conditional discharge. He also bound the girls under a penalty of €1,000 each to not approach or molest the victim for a year.

“Let’s hope this case matures them a little,” said the magistrate.

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