Woman denies assaulting policewoman at bank

A woman accused of assaulting a policewoman on duty has been granted bail

An argument at a bank landed a woman in court this afternoon after she allegedly assaulted the policewoman on duty.

38-year-old Elizabeth Muscat from Xghajra appeared before magistrate Rachel Montebello, charged with insulting an officer and violently resisting arrest, as well as slightly injuring her. She was also charged with threatening the officer, disobeying legitimate police orders, attacking the officer, exceeding the limits of provocation, breaching the peace, spitting in public, recidivism and breaching a probation order.

The incident in question occurred on 23 May at the San Gwann BOV branch at around 8:30am.

Inspector Joseph Xerri told the court that the WPC on duty was assaulted by the customer after an argument between the two. Despite being captured on the bank’s CCTV system, Muscat was only arrested almost a month later as she could not be recognised.

Lawyer Michael Sciriha entered a not guilty plea on behalf of the accused and asked for bail, arguing that the majority of the charges were contraventions and the only serious charge is that of violent resistance. “This case happened a month ago and nothing else happened in the meantime. There was possibly some provocation,” said the lawyer, also arguing that there was no risk of Muscat tampering with evidence or escaping from the islands.

“She eats what she earns,” explained the lawyer, telling the court that the accused had insufficient means to afford a deposit. “The little she has in life should not be taken away from her by withholding bail.” He emphasised that there was provocation in this case, but did not elaborate.

The court, after hearing submissions on bail, agreed to release the woman from arrest against a personal guarantee of €5,000. A protection order was also issued in favour of the officer and a probation officer was appointed to supervise the woman whilst on bail.

The court explained the implications of the bail conditions and protection order to the accused, telling her not to set foot in the branch in question. “This is not a joke, there are very harsh punishments - prison and a fine of €4,000 to €7,000 for breaching the protection order.”