Man awaits sentence after admitting to Facebook anti-police incitement

The man had posted a comment saying that ‘people were right to run over police officers and drive off’

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

A man has admitted to inciting crime on Facebook, two weeks after being arraigned for praising the attempted murder of PC Simon Schembri.

31 year-old Josef Vincenti had been accused of having, on 10 September, publicly incited persons to commit a crime and to break the law, of having used a social network to threaten to commit a crime, and of having used threatening words or behaviour with the intention of inciting violence against a group of people.

He was also charged with breaching the conditions of his conditional release and of being a recidivist.

The man was arraigned in court after posting a series of Facebook comments under a news article stating that police officers were dishing out 26 speeding tickets an hour using hand-held speed cameras.

Referring to the case of police officer Simon Schembri, who lost a limb after being run over and dragged several hundred metres by an underage driver, Vincenti wrote that “people were right to run over police officers and drive off”.

In Magistrate Rachel Montebello’s court this morning, Vincenti’s new legal team, headed by lawyer Franco Debono asked to approach the bench together with prosecuting Inspectors John Spiteri and Roxanne Tabone to discuss the case out of earshot of the public.

After a lengthy private discussion, Debono entered a guilty plea on behalf of the accused who is now on bail under a supervision order and curfew, against a deposit of €2,000 and a personal guarantee of €10,000 pending the drawing up of a pre-sentencing report.

After the report is finalised in the coming weeks, the court will be expected to hand down its sentence.

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