The Malta Independent 13 December 2018, Thursday

Man turns himself in to police, charged with involvement in robbery

Wednesday, 5 December 2018, 15:29 Last update: about 7 days ago

The third member of a gang, allegedly involved in a robbery in Marsa last month, today pleaded not guilty and was remanded in custody after turning himself in to the police on Tuesday.

Noel Borg, a 38-year-old fishing industry employee from Birkirkara, appeared before magistrate Doreen Clarke this morning charged with involvement in the aggravated theft of a suitcase containing some €4,000 in cash, which had taken place on November 22.

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The suitcase’s owner had been dragged for approximately 60 metres in Triq is-Serkin, Marsa, whilst clinging on to the robbers’ getaway car. He suffered serious injuries as a result.

Last week saw the arraignment of his two alleged accomplices, John Mifsud and Leanne Chalbi. Both had been denied bail by the court.

Borg, the last member of the gang had been on the run before handing himself over to the police. He charged with aggravated theft, causing a permanent debility to the victim and recidivism.

Defence lawyer Franco Debono told the court that his client had overcome drug addiction in the past and had spent 13 years as a care worker at Caritas.

But in the past three years the man had fallen back into drug use, Debono said, adding that the man wanted to overcome his addiction again.

Debono suggested bail under a supervision order as the best option.

Prosecuting Inspector Lydon Zammit objected to bail, however, telling the court that not only were the offences very serious but that the alleged victim was also still in hospital.

He had turned himself in but had been on the run since 22 November, said the inspector. “He knew we were looking for him, he knew two people with him had been arraigned. He hid his car. He has no residence,” Inspector Zammit went on, adding that civilian witnesses were yet to tetstify.

 “Had he wanted to approach witnesses, he had ample time to do so,” retorted Debono, making the argument that the man had a fixed residence and a supportive family, pointing to the man’s son and aunt, who were both present in the courtroom.

Having heard the submissions on bail, the court turned down the request in view of the gravity of the charges and the risk of the accused tampering with evidence.

Inspectors Lydon Zammit and Inspector Stacy Attard prosecuted.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Yanika Vidal were defence counsel.

 

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