A 33-year-old unemployed man from Msida has been remanded in custody on child abuse charges.
The man, whose name cannot be published under a court-imposed ban, was arraigned before magistrate Leonard Caruana on Wednesday, accused of abusing his partner’s four children and persistently neglecting their care. He was also charged with recidivism.
Inspector Kylie Borg told the court that one of the children, the youngest of whom is just 6 years old, had opened up to a social worker about the man’s behaviour.
Between October 2018 and April 2020, the man would punish them excessively, including by urinating on them, she said.
After receiving a report from the Directorate for Child Protection about the case, Inspector Borg had gone to the children’s school to speak with them. The accused was arrested shortly afterwards.
Defence lawyers Franco Debono and Francesca Zarb told the court that the defendant was pleading not guilty and requested his release from arrest.
The prosecution objected to the request, explaining that the children’s mother is the accused’s partner and was also the mother to one of his children. If granted bail the man would still meet the children and could potentially attempt to influence their testimony, the court was told. The four children currently reside with their grandmother, the court was told.
Magistrate Leonard Caruana rejected the request for bail in view of the fact that the alleged victims, who were minors and therefore vulnerable, had not yet testified.
The court also imposed a reporting ban on all the names of the parties involved.