Man gets seven years jail for Gżira shop hold-up

John Paul Charles Woods, 39, believed to have a connection with the disappearance of a woman 11 years ago, was charged with holding up a Convenience Store

John Paul Charles Woods resisted arrest when he was subdued by police officers during a hold-up on a Gżira Convenience shop (Photo: One News)
John Paul Charles Woods resisted arrest when he was subdued by police officers during a hold-up on a Gżira Convenience shop (Photo: One News)

A 39-year-old man has been jailed for seven years after pleading guilty to a hold-up on a Gżira Convenience Store.

John Paul Charles Woods, born in the UK, was charged on Monday with the hold-up, threatening the Indian shopkeepers, damaging the store and resisting arrest.

Over the weekend, it emerged that Woods may have been connected to the disappearance of 25-year-old Charlene Farrugia, 11 years ago. The Farrugia disappearance was not brought up in court this morning.

It is understood the police are still compiling evidence on the young woman’s disappearance in Valletta. Remains of a human body found in a secluded cave in Valletta are believed to be the woman’s.

Woods entered the courtroom on Monday with a swollen cheek and two bandaged fingers on his left hand and one bandaged finger on the right.

He seemed calm and composed as the court read out the charges against him.

The prosecution submitted an audio-visual statement of the accused, CCTV footage and a quantifiable estimate of the damages incurred by the shop.

He also breached two probation orders and was charged as a recidivist.

Since Woods pleaded guilty, the court sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment. Four of these were the penalty for the hold-up, while three further years were for breaching the two probation orders.

He was also fined €4,200.

Magistrate Charmaine Galea presided. Legal aid lawyer Christopher Chircop was defence counsel, while inspectors Fabian Fleri, Jonathan Ransley and Lydon Zammit prosecuted.

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