Construction worker remanded in custody after threatening man with gun

The man had been involved in a fist fight with another man and had gone to his car and returned with a shotgun

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

A construction worker from Zabbar has been remanded in custody after he was charged with threatening a man with a gun.

Jesmond Portelli, 33, is accused of carrying a firearm during the commission of a crime, causing the man to fear violence by threatening him with the weapon, committing this crime whilst under a probation order. He was also accused of breaching the peace with blasphemy and obscenities.

Inspectors Eman Hayman and Paul Camilleri also accused the man of being a recidivist and asked the court to issue a protection order for the parte civile and his family.

Portelli pleaded not guilty to the charges. His lawyer Roberto Montalto requested bail.

The prosecution objected to bail due to the possibility of the accused interfering with witnesses. His conduct reflected that this possibility is real, said inspector Hayman.

The lawyer said the man had been injured in the incident and that his aggressors were being investigated. There was no charge relating to injury to the aggressors, although he was allegedly armed with a shotgun and a knife, observed the lawyer.

He had used the period of his previous detention for armed robbery well and had drastically changed his life’s direction, the lawyer said, arguing that this had so impressed the court that he had been sentenced to probation.

“His criminal past dealt with drugs. This was different,” said the lawyer, adding that his client denied that he had a knife or a shotgun.

“I don’t want an incident he is innocent of to end up in his incarceration, which may rekindle his past”. The accused was ready to move to a different town and provide all the necessary safeguards for bail, said the lawyer.

Inspector Hayman explained that this incident started off with a fistfight. After the fight had ended the accused had gone away in his car before returning, pulling out a shotgun from the trunk. The entire incident was caught on CCTV, added the inspector.

The accused sobbed silently as the court, having considered the circumstances of the case and the nature of the accusations made to the accused, in particular the alleged breach of probation and the fact that the accused was being charged with relapsing, rejected the request for bail.

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