Retrial ordered in case of road rage assault on off-duty policeman

Court orders retrial after police withdraw central charge

A road rage case against a man, who delivered a brutal beating to a plainclothes policeman who stopped him for dangerous driving, must start again from scratch, a judge has ruled.

The Court of Criminal Appeal, presided by Mr. Justice Aaron Bugeja said the case against 41-year-old Vittoriosa resident Angel Attard had to be retried because the police had withdrawn a central charge, before the man had admitted.

Last year, the court had heard how, trapped by his seatbelt, which had locked tight, the victim was punched in the face for “around three minutes,” according to his girlfriend, who had witnessed the incident from inside her boyfriend’s car.

Attard had pleaded guilty after the police had withdrawn the pivotal charge of attacking a police officer, on the basis that he had not known that the victim was a police officer.

The Attorney General had appealed from the sentence by the Court of Magistrates which had handed Attard a 250-hour community service order for grievous bodily harm, arguing that the punishment was too light for the charges which the man had admitted to.

Lawyers Franco Debono, Marion Camilleri and Amadeus Cachia appeared for Attard.

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