A positive lifestyle change has spared a man 21 months of prison

Patrick Gatt, 45, from Birkirkara saw his 30 month prison sentence slashed to just 9 months after a court observed he had made radical changes to his life, overcoming his drug addiction and trafficking habit.

Patrick Gatt had been arrested after a raid at the Havana club in Paceville led to the police finding cocaine on one man. He had fingered Gatt, a bouncer at nearby club Déjà vu, as having sold him the drugs on a regular basis. Several packets of drugs were found on his person. Gatt had also been convicted of resisting and slightly injuring two police constables during his arrest on 7 November 2014.

He had been found guilty by the court of magistrates and was jailed for 30 months but had filed an appeal.

Disposing of the appeal this morning, madam justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera said she agreed that the first court had been too heavy-handed. After hearing probation officers and doctors who said the man suffered from ADHD as well as having drug and relationship problems, the court heard the accused explain how he had stopped taking drugs three years ago and was caring for a child.

A Caritas representative told the court that the man had made contact with the organisation in 2015 with a serious drug problem, but with regular attendance his drug tests started coming back negative and had continued to do so to date.

“It emerges that the appellant’s criminal record is not clean. But however, in view of the fact that the defence witnesses told the court that the appellant has made positive changes in his life, amongst them overcoming drug addiction, this Court is going to reduce the punishment inflicted by the first court.”

The judge reduced the man’s sentence to 9 months in jail. Gatt’s €6000 fine still remains in force, however.

Lawyer Roberto Montalto was defence counsel.

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