Bail not revoked for 19-year-old fined for cocaine, cannabis possession

The court found the man guilty of drug possession but did not uphold the prosecution's request to seize his bail bond and order his re-arrest

The court did not uphold the prosecution's request to order the young man's re-arrest
The court did not uphold the prosecution's request to order the young man's re-arrest

A 19-year-old man has been fined €800 after being found guilty of possession of cannabis and cocaine.

Marlon Baldacchino from Zabbar was arrested in his hometown back in November and charged with drug possession and breaching bail conditions previously imposed on him by the Court of Magistrates. He was cleared of breaching bail conditions.

Magistrate Josette Demicoli had heard how on 4 November 2018, inspector Lydon Zammit and another officer had been waiting for a certain Luke Vella to sign his bail book. When Vella arrived and went into the station at around 7pm, the inspector had gone to check Vella’s car and found Baldacchino sitting in the passenger seat, rolling a cigarette.

Identifying himself as a police officer, Zammit asked the man to get out of the car. Baldacchino, unprompted, told the officer that “what he was rolling was his”.

He asked whether he had anything else in the car and told the police that he had a black pouch. He was arrested after drugs were found inside the pouch, together with two mobile phones, cash, a penknife, as well as other items.

A court appointed expert established that the drugs consisted of 0.17 grams of cocaine at a purity of around 15%, divided into two sachets.

Cannabis was also found in the man’s cigarette.

The court said that there was no doubt that the drugs were his.

On the charge of breaching bail, however, the court observed that no evidence had been presented to prove that the Marlon Baldacchino mentioned in the bail decree was, in fact, the accused.

The accused was “not yet understanding that he needs to make an effort to overcome his drug addiction and to hold down a job,” observed the court.

After taking into consideration the nature of the crime, the circumstances of the case, the young man’s tainted criminal record and a report by a Probation Officer, Magistrate Josette Demicoli fined the man €800 and ordered the destruction of the drugs.

The court did not uphold the prosecution’s request to seize his €2,000 bail bond, or order his re-arrest.

Inspectors Sarah Zerafa and Paul Camilleri prosecuted.