Domestic attack over can of tuna lands man in the dock

The court heard how the woman started to fear approaching the accused after he became aggresive on repeated occasions

A court has granted bail to a man accused of threatening and attacking his partner in a domestic dispute over a can of tuna.

Inspectors Oriana Spiteri and Eman Hayman arraigned the 40-year-old from Zabbar before magistrate Francesco Depasquale this morning. The alleged victim had argued with the accused after a can of tuna went missing, at which point the accused had allegedly thrown all the items on the table at her, including an open can of tomato paste.

Inspector Hayman told the court that the Zabbar police station had been informed of a domestic incident at the man’s residence and had gone to the scene. Officers were told the argument was a verbal one.

“There was an argument about a room’s lighting and a tin of tuna. The accused had thrown items that were on the table.”

It was a repeated problem and the woman started to fear approaching the accused, explained the inspector, adding that the woman's clothes were observed to be stained with a red liquid which turned out to be the tomato paste.

The inspector explained that the woman was deemed to be at a high risk of domestic violence.

Legal aid lawyer Dunstan Camilleri said the man, who is unemployed, was pleading not guilty and requested bail. The charges were not the most grave in nature, he said. There were mechanisms available, like the protection order, which would safeguard the woman if necessary, added the lawyer.

The prosecution did not object to bail.

The court, after seeing the Appogg report on the incident, stated that it was opportune to issue a temporary protection order against the accused in the circumstances.

The court granted the man bail, ordering him to sign a bail book three times a week. Bail was secured by a personal guarantee of €5,000. He was ordered not to speak or communicate with the woman.

“Sir, be very careful. Don’t talk to her at all. If she is at home when you are there, leave and if necessary ask for police assistance.”