Man broke down elderly Sliema resident's front door and robbed her at knifepoint, court told

A man was released on bail after denying the accusation that he broke down a Sliema resident's front door and robbed the homeowner at knifepoint

A man who allegedly broke down an elderly woman’s front door in Sliema and robbed her at knifepoint has been released on bail after he denied the accusations in court.

Before magistrate Monica Vella, Pembroke resident Jassem Al Taher, 36, from Libya was charged with causing damage to the woman’s front door, threatening her with a knife, being in possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, driving under the influence and being drunk and incapable of taking care of himself in public, amongst others.

Al Taher, who operates a taxi business, pleaded not guilty and requested bail.

Prosecuting police inspector Bernardette Valletta objected, saying that the woman’s daughter knew the accused and that this could lead to tampering with evidence. Defence counsel, lawyer Joseph Bonnici, however, argued that this was simply a hypothesis which fell below the required standard of proof in criminal proceedings. This fear could be alleviated by imposing strict conditions, he said.

The court upheld the request for bail, but forbade him from going to Sliema. He was released from arrest against a deposit of €2000 and a €5000 personal guarantee. The accused asked the court to allow ten days for him to pay the deposit. “Yes, but you’ll be spending them in prison,” replied the magistrate.

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