Valletta shop thief gets three-year probation

A man who pleaded guilty to stealing from several shops in Valletta in 2017 was sentenced to a three-year probation

A 23-year-old man from Isla who pleaded guilty to stealing from several shops in Valletta in 2017 was sentenced to a three-year probation.

The accused, Gilmour Flask, admitted to stealing from two clothing retail outlets on Republic Street, Valletta, on 14 February 2017. 

In March 2017, Flask took to Republic Street again sometime before noon when he stole some articles of clothing not exceeding €232.94 in value. 

A month later, on 18 April 2017, the accused changed course to Merchant’s Street and pilfered some outfits from a popular store there. 

The accused immediately admitted to these thefts to the police. 

The court, presided over by Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, considered that Flask was often bullied in primary school and then later in secondary school—he often absented himself from class for this reason. 

According to the pre-sentencing report, at the tender age of 11, Flask resorted to smoking cannabis. This later developed into a heroin addiction when he turned 17. 

In 2016, Flask made contact with Caritas Malta and was eventually admitted to the Caritas Shelter. This was short-lived as he left soon after. 

In October of that year, the accused started a residential programme but was ousted when he refused to stick to the rules of the programme. Flask’s Probation Officer also testified saying that in May 2017, the accused admitted himself to Mount Carmel Hospital but he only spent a single day there. 

The probation officer recommended the court to grant Flask a suspended sentence.

The court said that despite the accused’s difficulties, he had shown through his behaviour that he was not willing to reform and that he was constantly regressing. 

It sentenced Flask to a three-year probation.

The court warned the accused that any misdemeanour he commits that is punishable by law within three years would carry with it the added penalty that he would have served for the Valletta robberies, at least a six-month prison term.

Veronica-Anne Spiteri was defence counsel.