Man cleared of breaking wife's arm in domestic row

Court declared mere speculation or conjecture, without sufficient evidence, could not lead to a conviction

A husband has been cleared of breaking his wife’s arm in a domestic altercation eight years ago, after a court said it could not rule out the injury being accidental.

The 64-year-old Attard resident and his wife had been going through marital separation proceedigns after 25 years of marriage. During one of the couple’s many rows, in October 2010, the couple’s teenage son had gone downstairs after overhearing his parents shouting and found his mother sitting on the floor holding her arm, which was swollen and painful.

The woman had filed a police report and the man was charged with grievously injuring his wife and causing her to fear violence. The husband consistently denied the charges.

After eight years in court, the case was settled by magistrate Neville Camilleri who had been assigned the case in 2015.

The magistrate observed that despite all the evidence and the “harsh antagonism and animosity” on the part of both parties, the wife’s claim of having been pushed over violently by her husband had not been proven.

The accused, had claimed that his wife had tried to grab his mobile phone, while he stood with his back to her in the bathroom. He said he had dodged a high kick from the woman, who then slipped and fell, injuring herself.

Magistrate Camilleri noted that both versions were believable and that the woman’s injuries could have been caused either way. But mere speculation or conjecture, without sufficient evidence, could not lead to a conviction, the court declared.

It said it could not conclude that the victim’s version was “more realistic or closer to the truth.”

The accused was acquitted of all charges.

Lawyer Kathleen Calleja Grima was defence counsel.

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