The Malta Independent 18 September 2019, Wednesday

Liam Debono's mother pleads guilty to string of thefts from petrol pumps

Wednesday, 10 July 2019, 13:24 Last update: about 3 months ago

A woman has admitted to committing a string of thefts from fuel pumps around the islands.

Charlotte Zammit, who is the mother of Liam Debono, accused with the attempted murder of policeman Simon Schembri and in prison for breaching bail conditions, was arraigned before magistrate Neville Camilleri on Wednesday morning, accused of stealing money from 6 petrol stations in May and July.

The targeted petrol stations, in Paola, Zabbar, Attard, Qormi, St. Paul’s Bay and Mellieha, were all robbed during the night time.

Zammit, 37, of Tarxien, pleaded guilty to six counts of aggravated theft, three counts of criminal damage and one of breaching probation. She was also accused of recidivism.

“I’m obliged to inform you that following your admission you can be sent to prison,” said magistrate Neville Camilleri. “Do you need more time to reconsider?” “No,” she replied. “Do you confirm your guilty plea?” “Yes.”

Police Inspector Roderick Agius insisted on a custodial sentence, saying that the accused would be a danger to herself and others if returned to society. “She has a drug problem, the company she keeps makes it difficult to rehabilitate her. She’s also a recidivist. Probation had already been given but she didn’t seize the chances offered to her by the courts. She should use her prison time to go to rehab and emerge a new and better person.”

In submissions on punishment, legal aid lawyer Josette Sultana pointed out that the woman had admitted the charges at an early stage. “She wants to rehabilitate herself and I believe the punishment should be tempered by this fact.” The amounts stolen were not substantial, added the lawyer.

The court said it would be sentencing the woman next week. Bail was not requested.

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