Man charged with approaching 15-year-old he is accused of defiling

Girl admits meeting the man twice after he was released from prison on bail, tells her mother she is scared of him

The man was remanded in custody as court will wait for psychiatric evaluation
The man was remanded in custody as court will wait for psychiatric evaluation

A man on bail for allegedly defiling his 15-year-old girlfriend has denied making contact with the child again, in breach of his bail conditions.

Police Inspectors John Spiteri and Kylie Borg arraigned the 25 year-old man from Hamrun before Magistrate Audrey Demicoli, telling the court that after he was released on bail in July, the police had received information that the accused was making contact with the girl.

Phone localisation data placed the accused near her house, said inspector Borg.

The girl’s grandfather testified: “On 20 July the girl had left home for an errand…I saw her stepping into a van. Suddenly I recognised the accused and he drove off. We went to the police station.”

In various phone calls the accused would threaten to kill the girl if she left him, said the grandfather.

The girl’s mother said the child was caught lying about having a mobile phone with which she would communicate with the accused. The girl burst out crying and told her mother that the man had been pestering her, the mother said.

On that occasion, the girl had become hysterical, vomiting and incontinent when her mother had noticed her daughter using the secret phone and had found letters from the man.

She had demanded to know what was going on, she said. “My daughter said ‘I’m scared of him.’”

The girl herself took the stand. Asked about what happened when the accused left prison around three weeks ago, she explained that there had been communication with the accused twice a day whilst he was in prison, via a mobile phone given to her by a friend.

He had told her he was leaving prison, so she had gone to his house and spent an hour there. “We were talking. I had told my mum that I had gone shopping. I lied to her. When she came knocking on the door at his house, I hid.”

The day after, the man wanted to meet again. He wanted to make things right, she said. They had met on a bypass “because that’s where he wanted to meet” and the grandfather had seen them together.

The girl had later spent time in a care home and the accused had also been captured on CCTV there, the court was told.

Despite this, the girl said, she had only met him twice since his release on bail.

He would send letters to her from prison. “His mother would give them to me,” she told the court.

Cross-examined by lawyer Alfred Abela, the girl said she was 16 now but was 15 at the time of all the meetings.

The accused had been released from psychiatric care, said the prosecution, but at the request of the defence, a psychiatric expert was appointed to re-evaluate the man.

Bail was not requested.

The case is subject to reporting restrictions.

Inspector John Spiteri and Inspector Kylie Borg prosecuted.

Lawyer Alfred Abela was defence counsel.