The Malta Independent 23 February 2020, Sunday

Yana Mintoff Bland recalls near-death experience in knife attack

Monday, 21 November 2016, 19:33 Last update: about 4 years ago

Yana Mintoff Bland recounted in court today how an argument spiralled into an alleged knife attack by her former partner Ghoerghe Popa.

The court heard how an argument between Yana Mintoff Bland and her former Romanian partner Ghoerghe escalated into a knife attack.

She testified in the compilation of evidence against Mr Popa, 38, who stands charged, among other things, with holding her against her will slightly injuring her and her son. He is pleading not guilty.

The incident took place in the evening of October 24 at Ms Mintoff Bland's residence in Tarxien.

The first to testify today was Police inspector Spiridione Zammit, who said that he spoke to Yana Mintoff Bland and her son Daniel Mainwaring, 32, at Paola health centre. She was suffering slash wounds on her left wrist and on the left side of her chest.

Police Inspector Spirdione Zammit told the court that he first encountered Yana Mintoff Bland at the Paola health centre where she was suffering from slash wounds on her left wrist and left side of her chest.

The police were told that the argument broke out on the ground floor of the residence after Mt.Popa suspected that Ms. Mintoff Bland was conducting an affair with another man.

Daniel Mainwaring, Ms.Mintoff Bland's son, also suffered wounds on his left leg after intervening.

Inspector Zammit then said that he found a fire on his return to Ms.Mintoff Bland's home


The police discovered Mr Popa after following drops of blood near a tree. The man was found with four knife wounds to the stomach; the wounds were all deemed to be self-inflicted by court appointed forensic experts.

Mr Popa was placed in a critical condition at Mater Dei. Upon his release on November 10 he was interrogated by Police, were it was ascertained the Mr Popa did in fact handle the knife whilst he also recalled inflicting one of the wounds.

Next to give evidence was Ms Mintoff Bland who said that she had been in a relationship after  meeting at a dance class two years prior.

Ms Mintoff Bland then told the court that in the months that preceded the incident Mr.Popa began to act very irrational and suspicious.

Their relationship had ended twice before the incident due to Mr Popa's constant jealousy and threats to take his own life.

Ms Mintoff Bland thanked her son for helping her on the day of the attack which occurred after she returned home from a dinner with Mr Mainwaring, a court heard.

As she attempted to collect Mr Popa's belongings in order for him to vacate the premises, he attacked her and attempted to stab her.

Defence lawyer Benjamin Valenzia request bail, but this was denied.

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