600 hours of community work for Paceville 'bouncers'

The men accused of grievously injuring two foreign clubbers couldn't be confirmed whether they were in fact bouncers despite wearing black and standing outside a club

Carmelo Zammit, Carmel Sghendo and Ezekiel Mintoff were found guilty of grievously injuring two foreign men attempting to get into a Paceville club
Carmelo Zammit, Carmel Sghendo and Ezekiel Mintoff were found guilty of grievously injuring two foreign men attempting to get into a Paceville club

Three men have been sentenced to a total of 600 hours of community service after severely injuring two clubbers in a savage attack outside a Paceville club in May 2017.

Six men had originally been charged in connection with the beating of Ali Alhasan and Sami Al Smadi from, Syria and Jordan respectively. Carmel Zammit, Simon Cassar, Carmel Sghendo, Jurgen Sghendo, Ezekiel Mintoff and William Briguglio had been accused of attacking Alhasan and Al Smadi when they tried to gain entry to a club in the entertainment district during the early hours of 21 May that year.

Magistrate Joseph Mifsud observed that Alhasan had testified that Cassar had hit him with a broken glass bottle and Jurgen Sghendo had pushed him into a glass door. This account tallied with his injuries, which included a knife wound to his hand inflicted by a person whom the victim was unable to recall.

CCTV footage showed Al Smadi speaking to a group of bouncers, which included Zammit, when Briguglio came up behind him and hit him in the head, while Mintoff laid into him with his fists and feet.

Al Smadi’s eye socket was fractured during the assault. Both Alhasan and Al Smadi suffered grievous injuries and facial disfigurement as a result of the attack.

The court however said that there was no evidence that the men had been working as bouncers and that this could not be assumed simply because they were wearing black and standing outside a club. As a result of this, they were cleared of illegally working as security guards.

Carmelo Zammit, Carmel Sghendo and William Briguglio were cleared of all charges. Simon Cassar and Jurgen Sghendo were convicted of grievously injuring Alhasan, whilst Mintoff was found guilty of grievously injuring Al Smadi and Alhasan. Sghendo alone was also convicted of recidivism.

They were ordered to complete 600 hours of community service between them; Cassar 150 hours, Sghendo 200 hours and Mintoff 250 hours. The guilty men were also ordered to pay €588 in costs and were bound by a €2,000 guarantee not to approach the victims.

Inspector Trevor Micallef prosecuted.

Lawyer Joe Giglio appeared for Carmel Zammit while lawyer Andy Ellul and Ryan Ellul appeared for Simon Cassar. Lawyers Charlon Gouder and Ramona Attard appeared for Carmel and Jurgen Sghendo. Lawyer Kathleen Grima appeared for Ezekiel Mintoff and lawyer Arthur Azzopardi appeared for William Briguglio.

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