Man who harassed parents for drug money denied bail

The court heard how at one point the two elderly parents were giving their son around €5,000 a month to sustain his addiction

The man was denied bail and ordered to follow a drug rehabilitation programme
The man was denied bail and ordered to follow a drug rehabilitation programme

A 29-year-old man was remanded in custody after the court heard how he harassed and abused his parents so they would give him money for drugs. 

He was accused with domestic violence against his parents and with causing them to fear violence. He still lives with his mother and father in Zabbar, both of whom are elderly individuals. 

Legal aid lawyer, Christopher Chircop, immediately asked for bail claiming that the man was the victim of a drug habit. 

The prosecution objected. “These reports keep coming in on a daily basis at the Zabbar police station. The accused’s mother is 74 years old and his father is 75. The accused has a drug problem, is unemployed, lives with his parents, and continuously asks them for money,” prosecuting officer Oriana Spiteri said.

She added how at one point the parents used to give their son around €5,000 a month. They had even sold their plots to be able to afford his extortionate demands. 

“He tried to get into a rehabilitation programme in July. That same night, he returned home asking for money,” Spiteri said, insisting that the parents had been going through this with him for 15 years and that his mother had finally denied giving him money, which resulted in the accused hurting her, causing slight injuries. 

The parents, being elderly, could not be expeditiously brought to court to testify. 

“What about presumption of innocence?” argued the defence. “The accused has a problem. He has no difficulty going through a rehabilitation programme but he has no place to stay.”

The accused stood up and asked the court whether he could tell his version of events, insisting that it was the parents who abused him. In the courtroom, his movements were lethargic and he looked worn out. 

“I am adopted and was sexually abused. I have no place to stay. My mum said she’d accept me back home if I agree to a rehabilitation programme,” he said.

Presiding magistrate Simone Grech allowed him to speak before denying bail.

“I am denying bail in view of the gravity of the crime and because the accused lives in the same household as his victims. I recommend the Director General of the Corradino Correctional Facility to take the necessary steps to aid the accused with his drug problem,” she said. 

The man was remanded in custody. 

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