The Malta Independent 21 May 2019, Tuesday

Man orders delivery of goods, escapes through secondary exit without paying, court hears

Wednesday, 20 February 2019, 16:41 Last update: about 4 months ago

A suspected con-artist’s luck ran out this afternoon after he was remanded in custody over 30 alleged crimes.

Thomas Camilleri 30, Gzira, was accused of 13 counts of fraud, 13 counts of misappropriation, and one count each of aggravated theft, handling stolen goods by buying stolen cheques, breaching bail and relapsing.

The accused is believed to have committed at least some of the crimes by ordering the delivery of goods at a particular address and when taking delivery of the items, pretending to go inside for his wallet and then escaping through another exit.

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Lawyer Yanika Bugeja, legal aid to the accused, entered a plea of not guilty and requested bail to allow him to follow a drug rehabilitation programme.

The prosecution objected to bail, primarily due to the nature of the charges and also because before arraigning him, the accused had informed the prosecution that some form of arrangement had been made with Oasi foundation. Checks, however, showed that these arrangements had never been made. The man had already been on bail and was in fact being charged with breaching bail, added inspectors Colin Sheldon and Bernardette Valletta.

Bugeja argued that the accused is still presumed innocent and that the request for bail was qualified by the request that he be sent to rehab.

Bail was being requested as in case he is given a place at Oasi, he will not miss out due to being in custody, she said. In addition, it could not be argued that he had breached bail when he was just charged with this and was still presumed innocent.

Inspector Sheldon said that he had spoken to the priest in charge of Oasi and confirmed that there are no arrangments as alleged by the accused.

The court, on the issue of bail said it wanted a representative of Oasi to confirm whether or not the accused had a place there. It is premature for bail to be granted, it said. “I want my mind at rest that there is a real prospect of him undergoing the programme,” explained the magistrate. The defence requested that if bail was denied, the man be held at the forensic unit due to “problems.” The court said it had no problem making a recommendation in this regard at a later stage, but said that the accused was not being deemed a trustworthy person, in view of his voluminous criminal record. Bail was denied.

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