Suspected armed robber remanded in custody

The man is believed to have been involved in a knifepoint robbery in April 

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

A suspected armed robber has been remanded in custody after DNA evidence linked him to a knifepoint robbery.

DNA tests on a jacket found at the scene of the robbery led to the arrest of 22-year-old Shamison Stafrace from Cospicua.

The part-time bar tender was linked to a holdup at a Paola store on 16 April, after his DNA was found on a blue jacket which was recovered from the store.

Two men, one of them armed with a knife, had held up the shopkeeper, two attendants and customers.

The prosecution told magistrate Gabriella Vella that CCTV footage as well as the DNA match had led police to the alleged culprit.

One person was slightly injured in the hold up, the court was told.

A third man, thought to be the getaway driver is understood to have been arraigned two weeks ago.

Stafrace was charged with aggravated theft, holding his alleged victims against their will, slightly injuring one of them whilst bearing a sharp and pointed instrument. He was further charged with breaching a suspending sentence and relapsing.

Stafrace, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, had been released on police bail for the past few days until the results of DNA tests were received, the court was told.

Magistrate Gabriella Vella will continue to hear the case on Tuesday, saying she would not be ruling on the bail request until she heard the testimony of a Sedqa representative confirm the accused’s claim of imminent admission to a rehabilitation programme.

Stafrace was remanded in custody.

Inspectors Fabian Fleri, Lydon Zammit and Oriana Spiteri prosecuted.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia were defence counsel.

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