Youth accused of being part of burglary gang who targeted his boss' house

The 19-year-old, who was the employer's most trusted employee, took part in an attempted robbery of his house 

A 19-year-old youth from Iklin has been charged in connection with his part in the attempted robbery of his employer’s home.

Nigel Calleja was arraigned before magistrate Francesco Depasquale by Inspector Elton Taliana this morning.

Calleja was charged with attempted aggravated theft, following the unsuccessful break-in at a house in Birkirkara. The attempt was aggravated by violence, said the police.

It is understood that the accused had been one of the victim’s most trusted employees and had even been given a key to the man’s house.

Inspector Taliana said that four thieves were involved in total. Two have already been arraigned and one man remains at large.

Yesterday a man from Birkirkara was remanded in custody after pleading not guilty to related charges.

The men were arrested after police had received a report that masked men had tried to break into the Birkirkara residence. CCTV identified Nigel Calleja, who was later given police bail whilst the accomplices were sought out.

“The investigation is still open and the police are still speaking to people. The case is not a clear cut one,” he said.

 This morning, Calleja’s lawyer Rachel Tua entered a plea of not guilty on the youth’s behalf.

Bail was requested. He was already on police bail and had kept all his appointments, pointed out his lawyer. His father was strict with him and there was no risk of him not abiding by his bail conditions, she said. The accused had assisted the police in their investigations, added the lawyer.

Lawyer Franco Debono, appearing for the victim, told the court that his client had trusted the accused and was betrayed. A two-year-old child was in the house at the time of the attempted break-in, said the lawyer. He asked that his client be safeguarded.

Notwithstanding this, the youth’s place was not in the “university of criminality” that is prison, Magistrate Francesco Depasquale remarked, but warned him that “you only get one chance with me.”

Calleja was released on bail on condition that he sign a bail book daily, observe a curfew and provide a personal guarantee of €10,000. He was ordered not to speak to any of the witnesses, including his former employer or workmates, as well as not to approach the residence or workplace of the parte civile.

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