'Suddenly, everyone is high risk' - lawyer lashes out at Appogg domestic violence risk assessments

The lawyer for a man who allegedly attacked and threatended his father has accused support agency Appogg of exagerrating the case

(File photo)
(File photo)

A man has been remanded in custody after allegedly attacking and threatening his father in a family argument over money, with his lawyer accusing support agency Appogg of exaggerating the case.

Inspector Roderick Attard arraigned the 33-year-old man from Zejtun, accusing him of causing damage to his parents’ property, breaching the peace, attacking his father, breaching bail conditions, threatening his father and breaching a suspended sentence he had received last December.

Lawyer Martin Fenech told magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo that when police receive a report of domestic violence, Appogg would draw up a risk assessment which invariably states the case was a “high risk,” necessitating arrest, even in minor cases. “Suddenly everyone is high risk,” he said, adding that this practise was “rampant.”

The Court asked the inspector whether the arrest had been made on the basis of the risk assessment. He replied that the Police had taken the decision after speaking with the father.

It emerged that the argument was over money. No injuries were reported, said the inspector.

The accused entered a not guilty plea and bail was requested. “It was a family argument. There was no fighting and nobody injured at the end of the day,” said the lawyer. Fenech said that the accused may have a drinking problem and asked the court to provide him with assistance for this. The man would live with his uncle if granted bail, added the lawyer.

But inspector Attard objected to the request for release from arrest. This wasn’t the first time that the man had been arraigned on similar charges and his criminal record spoke of an unruly character, he said.

The court refused the bail request and ordered the accused be remanded in custody.

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