Malta footballer imprisoned for harassing ex-partner

Accused, who stalked former partner and inundated her with phone calls, jailed for 15 months

Clifford Gatt Baldacchino
Clifford Gatt Baldacchino

A Maltese international footballer has been sentenced to 15 months in prison after a court found him guilty of harassing his ex-partner.

Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, a Malta and Gzira United centre back, pleaded guilty to misusing a mobile phone, causing his ex-partner to fear violence against her and harassing her. 

The court said that it would treat the accused’s case as a domestic violence one especially as it heard how Gatt Baldacchino was “obsessed” with his ex-partner and had been warned not to approach her by a previous court.

In violation of a court protection order and a suspended sentence issued on 16 August and 23 August for the same crime, Gatt Baldacchino stalked his ex-partner at the beach and called her on her mobile phone continuously.

The woman had ended the relationship some months prior.

“The accused had ample time to reconsider and to understand the nature of his crime and he understood that such behaviour carried serious consequences,” the court said.

It added that Gatt Baldacchino had become a repeat offender within six days of having been handed down a previous sentence, and that the court’s hands had been tied by the accused’s recidivism.

“The way he has persisted in this behaviour certainly contributed anxiety in his ex-partner among other things. This case falls within the parameters of domestic violence,” the court continued.

The court sentenced him to nine months in prison and a €1,000 fine, on top of a further six months imprisonment from the previous suspended sentence which was now rendered effective, tallying up to a total of 15 months imprisonment. 

Another five-year court protection order was issued for Gatt Baldacchino’s ex-partner.

Lawyer Jean Paul Sammut was defence counsel.

Inspector Robert Vella prosecuted.

Magistrate Ian Farrugia presided.

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