Alleged thief on bail for stealing from collection boxes

 A petty thief from Sta Venera accused of breaching two sets of bail conditions has been released on bail again

A petty thief accused of breaching two sets of bail conditions has been released on bail again.

Mario Farrugia,49, Sta Venera, was accused of stealing a charity donation boxes belonging to Puttinu Cares and the Inspire Foundation from two shops in Qormi late last month.

Inspector Alfredo Mangion told Magistrate Monica Vella that the man had stolen the donation boxes, both of which contained less than €230.

Farrugia pleaded not guilty to the charges, which included breaching two sets of previous bail conditions.

He requested bail once again today. The prosecution objected to this citing the risk of him tampering with evidence.

But his lawyer, Ishmael Psaila, made an impassioned argument for the man’s release, arguing that he was presumed innocent, even if charged with breaching bail conditions. “We cannot come here and say there is a fear of tampering, we must substantiate it. That’s what I expect from a prosecutor!” thundered the lawyer, himself a former prosecutor at the Office of the Attorney General.

Magistrate Monica Vella granted Farrugia bail, on condition that he sign a bail book weekly and secured his adherence to the conditions by requiring a deposit of €500 and a personal guarantee of €7,000.

“If you breach these conditions you will lose €7,500, do you understand?” asked the court. The accused replied he did.

More in Court & Police