A dispute over a couple’s 4-year-old son led to a fight between a number of persons in a street in Zabbar on Sunday afternoon.
A 23-year old man from Zabbar, who is the woman’s estranged partner, and a 20-year old man from Cospicua, who had fathered a son by the woman, were arraigned separately earlier today, following the incident.
The violent incident began when the 25-year old mother had visited her ex’s home to collect their 4-year old son, at around 4.00pm.
The woman’s lawyer, Albert Zerafa, explained during the arraignment that, despite a court decree regulating access to the child, the man had allegedly been changing collection points, on occasion asking the mother to go to Marsaxlokk, St Paul’s Bay and other areas.
When the woman turned up at her ex’s Zabbar residence on Sunday afternoon, a violent argument had allegedly broken out, with the young mother suffering grievous injuries, broken bones, the court heard.
“My client is not present today because she is undergoing surgery at present,” Zerafa explained, adding that Sunday’s violent incident had not been the first of its kind.
The man pleaded not guilty to having grievously injured his former partner, caused her to fear violence and breached the peace.
His lawyers argued that the accused satisfied all the requisites for the granting of bail, telling court that the couple had reached an agreement for the child to live with the father but had been withdrawn at last minute due to third party interference.
In view of the fact that the alleged victim was still to testify, as well as due to the gravity of the offences and the fact that there had been a history of other incidents, magistrate Yana Micallef Stafrace turned down the request for bail.
The 20-year old who had fathered another child with the alleged victim was next in the dock, having apparently rushed to the scene of the fight upon receiving a phone call from the woman. He had become irate upon finding his terrified child who happened to be accompanying the mother when she called to collect her other child.
“I went for him,” the father had later told the police.
The man, who is understood to have been accompanied by the woman’s father at the time, pleaded not guilty to having allegedly threatened police officers, refused to obey legitimate orders and rendered himself a recidivist.
In view of the fact that there were no civilian witnesses to testify against the accused, the court upheld that man’s request for bail against a personal guarantee of €20,000 and an order to sign the bail book every day.
The magistrate made sure the man understood the implications of such an episode repeating itself whilst on bail.
The court imposed a ban on the publication of all names so as to safeguard the minors involved.
Inspector Joanna Piscopo prosecuted.
Lawyers Clint Tabone, Paul Borg and Stephanie Caruana assisted the Zabbar man.
Lawyer Joseph Brincat was legal aid counsel to the Cospicua man.
Lawyer Albert Zerafa appeared parte civile.
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