Social media comments lead to serious injuries and charges

Three people were charged in court after a social media argument turned into a street fight, causing grievous injuries 

An argument which began on social media spilled onto the street, a court has been told, as two youths were accused of grievously injuring a man and the victim’s friend was accused of attempting to run over the attackers’ mother.

Inspector Bernardette Valletta charged the three men in two separate arraignments before magistrate Monica Vella today.

In the first, Dylan Magro 21, and Kenneth Magro, 24, were accused of attempting to cause permanent grievous injuries to Aosaa Elnaib, who ended up slightly injured, with arms improper. They were also charged with breaching the peace and slightly injuring the man. Dylan Magro alone was additionally charged with misusing electronic telecommunications equipment. The accused, who live in Msida, stood side by side in the dock, heads bowed. Both pleaded not guilty.

Lawyer Lucio Sciriha requested bail. Sciriha explained that the alleged victim’s friend was going out with the Magros’ sister. After an exchange of comments on social media, the victim had gone to the accused’s house and attempted to run over their mother, he said.

Inspector Valletta confirmed that after being challenged, the victim had gone to the scene but said that he had been attacked by the accused. “It’s through the grace of God that this case wasn’t more serious,” she said.

The events were documented on CCTV, argued Sciriha, adding that if necessary, witnesses can be protected. 

The pair were released on bail against a deposit of €500 and a personal guarantee of €4,000 each. They were ordered to sign a bail book twice a week and prohibited from approaching the victim, who is under a protection order.

In a separate arraignment, 21-year-old Neil Agius of Naxxar was accused of attempting to run over Tracy Magro, the mother of the accused. He was also charged with attempted grievous bodily harm and actual slight bodily harm, as well as dangerous driving, fleeing the scene of an accident and speeding.

Lawyers Veronique Dalli and Dean Hili entered a not guilty plea on the man’s behalf and requested bail. This was opposed by the prosecution on the grounds that there were witnesses who had yet to testify. Inspector Valletta pointed out that after knocking down the woman he hadn’t stopped or gone to the police.

But Dalli convinced the court otherwise, pointing out that it was his first brush with the law and that he had ended up mixed up in this because he was a friend of a man who had argued with the Magros about the girl. He simply gave his friend a lift to go and confront them and did not leave the car, said the lawyers. “He is not a danger to society, had he thought things through he wouldn’t be here today, but it is a stupid incident.”

The court granted Agius bail against a deposit of €500 and a personal guarantee of €4,000. A protection order was issued in favour of the victim.