The Malta Independent 21 October 2019, Monday

Man has prison term reduced by two years on appeal

Tuesday, 6 November 2018, 13:30 Last update: about 13 months ago

A man has had his punishment for aggravated drug possession reduced on appeal, in view of the assistance he gave the police.

In 2014, Richard Attard, then 61, had been sentenced to two and half years in prison and a fine of €5,000 after police found 166 grams of cocaine and 400 ecstasy pills in his house, car and garage.

Attard had filed an appeal, through lawyer Joe Giglio, who had argued that despite being aware of the accused’s mental health issues, his clean criminal conduct and a Social Inquiry Report, the first court had not factored these in to its sentencing considerations.

The accused had given the authorities a lot of information and leads that would help the police disrupt a drug dealing operation. This merited the diminution of his punishment by two grades, said the Court of Criminal Appeal, presided by judge Antonio Mizzi. Another factor ignored by the first court had been the fact that the accused was actively helping the police even before releasing his statement, said the court.

The accused was using drugs due to a plethora of personal problems, observed the judge, noting that today he was in a “completely different place in his life”, although still under the cloud of the pending appeal.

“It is clear that the appellant ought to be given a window of opportunity…” said the court, saying it was of the opinion that the punishment should be reformed.

For this reason, it confirmed the sentence in the merits and revoked the punishment, replacing it with six months imprisonment and a fine of €2000. He was also ordered to suffer the costs of appointing experts, some €1541.


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