Handyman admits to stealing €16,000 from Maltese employers

Man, who stole from his employer to finance a gambling addiction, has been handed down a suspended sentence after returning €12,500

The man stole to finance a gambling addiction that cost him €3,500 in one night
The man stole to finance a gambling addiction that cost him €3,500 in one night

A handyman who admitted to stealing €16,000 from his employers has been given a suspended sentence by the court.

The man told the court that he stole to finance a gambling addiction but had handed back €12,500 and pledged to return the remainder.

Amadeo Montilla Manalo, 44, from the Philippines was charged with aggravated theft after stealing the money from his employers.

He had been arrested earlier this week after discarded items from the robbery led to the bomb disposal unit being dispatched to investigate a call about a suspicious package.

During the man’s arraignment, Inspector Roderick Spiteri had told the court that the accused had been cooperative and had shown genuine remorse for what he had done.

Manalo had returned €12,500 of the stolen money, which was the amount left after a one-night gambling spree.

He pledged to return the remaining €3,500 as soon as he could find work.

In a judgment handed down today, Magistrate Joe Mifsud, noting the man’s guilty plea, quoted the Court of Criminal Appeal in saying that punishment should not be a form of revenge by society against the accused, but to repair the damage caused, reform the guilty party and protect society.

It noted that the accused was in Malta on a renewable visa and lacked a place to live or means to support himself. His sister is employed by a Maltese family with whom she lived and therefore could not offer him accommodation.

Manalo’s crimes were serious because the family he stole from had for many years, accepted him into its home, offered him work with good conditions and accepted him as part of the family.

Observing that case law had established that suspended sentences should be the exception, not the rule and should be given when the court felt that a prison sentence was not ideal.

“In other words, there must be special circumstances… to make this exception,” Mifsud said.

The court said that it felt that there were circumstances which gave reason for such an exception and imposed a punishment of two years’ imprisonment, suspended for 4 years. The court also ordered that he be repatriated.

More in Court & Police