Father handed suspended sentence for stalking daughter

A father has been handed a suspended sentence for stalking his estranged daughter and sending threatening messages to care workers at Appogg

The man was also accused of threatening Appogg workers
The man was also accused of threatening Appogg workers

A father has been handed a suspended sentence for stalking his estranged daughter and sending threatening messages to care workers at Appogg.

The 58-year-old Syrian man was charged after his persistent behaviour prompted the agency officials to file a police report.

The man, who is not being named to protect the identity of his daughter, was charged with breaching a protection order, harassment, misuse of electronic communications equipment and making threats.

Several staff from Appogg had testified to how the man had made repeated phone calls to social workers. One social worker said that she had felt harassed by the man’s persistent calling – at times up to four times a day.

The social workers testified that the accused had also stalked his daughter, turning up outside the home in which she had been placed as well as outside the girl’s school, the Court was told.

He had once visited the Agency’s customer care desk, complaining that he was being “ignored” and although he was not aggressive, the police had to intervene, such was his insistence.

The daughter also testified, explaining how her father would bombard her with messages and emails of a threatening nature.

She had once recorded a call wherein her father’s voice could be heard insulting Appogg officials and threatening to run her over with his car if he spotted her outside.

The daughter had also told the court, presided by magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo, how she had been unhappy at the residential home and would sometimes run away, seeking refuge at her father’s home. On occasion, her friends would take her in, she said, adding that she had once even hidden inside the boot of a garaged car.

In her judgment on the matter, the magistrate observed that from the evidence it was clear that the accused’s persistent behaviour, over a prolonged period of time, was a course of conduct that amounted to harassment.

However, no evidence was presented to support the charge of breaching a protection order. The order was never exhibited in evidence and the prosecution had not testified about it.

There was also insufficient evidence to support the charges relating to the misuse of electronic communications equipment, as it did not show when the messages had been sent or using what device.

Finding the man guilty of harassment, the court sentenced him to a 9-month prison sentence, suspended for 3 years and placed him under a 3-year restraining order.

Inspector Elliott Magro prosecuted.

Lawyers Veronica-Anne Spiteri and Alison Wadge were defence counsel.

More in Court & Police