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No bail for man accused of assaulting wife after crashing her aunt’s car while drunk

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A court has denied bail to a man charged with assaulting and slightly injuring his wife whilst drunk, last Saturday.

Inspector Audrey Micallef arraigned the Syrian defendant before Magistrate Victor Axiak on Monday, accusing him of slightly injuring the woman, assaulting her, damaging her aunt’s car, driving it in a reckless and dangerous manner and driving under the influence of alcohol.

She explained how the Domestic Violence Unit had received a report from the woman on Saturday at around 7pm. The complainant told the police that her husband had been using a car belonging to her aunt and had called her up, telling her that the car had broken down.

The woman had taken a taxi to his location, as she didn’t drive, added the inspector.

When she got there, the woman said, the defendant was visibly unsteady on his feet and had a strong smell of alcohol, something which was also later noted by the police.

She also noticed that the car now had several dents and other damages. One of the wheels was just a rim, its tyre missing, the woman had told the police.

But when she asked him what had happened, the man had grabbed her by the hair and slammed her head against the car several times. Residents in the area had seen what was happening and called the police, said the inspector. The woman was later certified as having been slightly injured.

The defendant, a Gharghur resident who told the court that he worked as a plasterer, pleaded not guilty to the charges, assisted by lawyers Franco Debono and Tiziana Micallef.

Lawyer Vincent Galea, representing the victim as parte civile pre-empted any request for bail, insisting that the man must not be allowed to stay at home with the alleged victim, should he be granted bail.

The prosecution objected to the defence’s request for bail, pointing out that the couple’s two children, aged 2 and 4 were at risk. The accused had also been living in Marsascala for the past 18 months, said the inspector, adding that this had emerged from his statement, as he was registered as living elsewhere.

As the children were so young, their mother would have to be present for any meeting with the accused, who had already asked to see his children while under arrest, said the inspector.

The alleged victim also resided in Marsaskala, added the inspector. The woman’s mother lived in Gharghur, she explained. “They spent some time living with her, but after moving to Marsaskala, over a year ago, the defendant hadn’t informed the authorities.”

Debono submitted that the man had been living in Malta for the past eight years and had regular employment. “The fact that he asked to see the children – God forbid he is not allowed to speak to his children, whom the prosecution has already declared would not be summoned as witnesses.”

“These are just charges of slight injuries and voluntary damage,” added the lawyer.

The magistrate denied bail, saying that at first glance, it appeared that the chances of the defendant attempting to tamper with the evidence was “not small.”

A request for a ban on the publication of the man’s name, in order to protect the interests of the couple’s children, was upheld by the court.

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