Gozo court jails man for 55 hour community work shortfall

A man in Gozo has been jailed for a year for not completing a previously imposed sentence of community work

Gozo court house
Gozo court house

A man in Gozo has been jailed for a year for not completing a previously imposed sentence of community work.

Car showroom operator Jason Zammit, 34, from Victoria, Gozo, had originally been sentenced to 200 hours of community work in January 2016, for misappropriating four quadbikes which he had been entrusted with.

He had also been ordered to repay the owners of the quadbikes some €11,000 in damages.

Although Zammit had initially cooperated with his community service officer and had been doing good work at the Ta Pinu Sanctuary, his enthusiasm had waned and in March 2018, the officer reported that Zammit “appeared to lack motivation” and so he was reassigned to the Government Experimental Farm in Xewkija.

But in January 2019, with just 55 hours of community service left, Zammit had started slacking and his attendance became irregular. His probation officer had drawn the attention of the court to this.

The court was told that the man’s attendance had become sporadic and that he had failed to show up for work for several weeks.

Zammit had argued that he had been unable to stick to his appointments due to the fact that he ran a car showroom and client demands would require a lot of travelling between Malta and Gozo.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud, deciding the case, remarked that the man’s attitude showed a lack of respect to authority and that he thought himself untouchable and above the law. “This is absolutely unacceptable,” said the magistrate.

“In a democratic society where everyone is a subject of the law and where the rule of law is respected, this attitude is not and cannot be permitted. If everyone adopted the same attitude as the accused…we would end up living in a jungle and the fibre of social order would be destroyed.”

The magistrate said that when a court imposes conditions, these are to be observed scrupulously.

In view of the fact that he had breached the conditions imposed by the court, Zammit was sentenced to the punishment that he would have originally faced for the crime he had committed – imprisonment for one year.