One of three alleged violent burglars charged over St. Paul's Bay break-in

Three men broke into a residence and locked a man and his son in a room while they attempted to rob them

The man pleaded not guilty to aggravated theft and to slightly injuring one of of the residents during the burglarly
The man pleaded not guilty to aggravated theft and to slightly injuring one of of the residents during the burglarly

A 41-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated theft and of slightly injuring one of the residents in the house he allegedly burgled.

St. Paul’s Bay resident, Salah Sharif from Libya, was arraigned before magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit, accused of slightly injuring a man, aggravated theft of a mobile phone, possession of a sharp and pointed instrument during the commission of a crime, causing damage to third party property, holding a father and son against their will, threatening the two men and breaching the peace.

Police investigations into the crime have so far revealed that the accused is allegedly one of three men who broke into a residence in St. Paul’s Bay on 22 July. A man and his son were inside the property at the time the three men gained entry.

Footage from nearby CCTV cameras showed the accused kicking down the front door, the inspector went on, adding that eyewitnesses said that two men had escaped the scene on foot.

A police officer told the court that the son had heard a bang and suddenly saw three men inside the apartment. He testified that the victim had suffered blows to his head and hands.

Prosecuting inspector Godwin Scerri testified that upon arriving at the scene, he had seen signs of forced entry and broken glass on the floor.

He said there was a mess in the bedroom, as well as more shattered glass and some blood.

Scerri explained that the three men had taken the father and son and locked them in a room which had a balcony on the outside.

While the criminals were demanding money from the terrified residents, the boy had managed to escape and jump from the balcony on to a neighbouring house.

The police arrived shortly afterwards. 

It emerged that no money was stolen but that the men had taken a mobile phone.

Sharif lives close to the victim, the father had explained to the police.

Meanwhile, police investigations into the other two unidentified persons involved in the robbery are still ongoing.

Defence lawyer Martin Fenech entered a not guilty plea and requested bail, insisting that the accused had a “very clean criminal record” after his 20 years of living in Malta.

The prosecution objected to bail, saying the investigations were still underway with respect to the two fugitives.

Magistrate Stafrace Zammit will give a decision on bail from chambers.

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