The Malta Independent 22 November 2019, Friday

Unrepentant 74-year old paedophile has 10-year sentence confirmed on appeal

Friday, 18 October 2019, 17:20 Last update: about 2 months ago

An unrepentant 74-year old paedophile has had his 10-year prison sentence confirmed on appeal, after a judge observed that he had shown no remorse for abusing a 14-year-old boy in his care.

The man, Michael Charles Muscat, had already been jailed for six years over a similar incident. He had filed an appeal from the judgment handed down by the Court of Magistrates in October 2018, claiming that the punishment was too harsh.

The man had been found guilty of charges of defiling the minor, engaging in sexual acts with him and producing indecent images of the boy. The court of Magistrates, presided by magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech, had said the man had "irreparably corrupted" the child's innocence and left him "scarred for life."

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His lawyer had appealed the first court's judgment, citing a number of similar cases in which a lower punishment had been handed down.

The court had noted a pre-sentencing report, in which the probation officer had stated that it would be in the best interests of society, that the man be held within a "restricted environment under close psychological supervision."

Despite the elderly accused acknowledging that he had done wrong, he had shown no "genuine remorse," telling the officer several times that he only regretted the fact that he was in prison.

Moreover, the man had refused to submit to therapy and all other help, seemingly unable to fully grasp the implications of his actions on his victim.

The man was unable to control his emotional and sexual drive towards teenage boys, the probation officer reported.

Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera, presiding the Court of Appeal observed that the man's crimes were aggravated by the 60-year age gap between the appellant and the victim as well as the fact that the sexual abuse had taken place while the boy had been entrusted to him by his relatives.

His victim had been traumatized for life, said the Court, noting that on the other hand the appellant had only seemed sorry for himself.

The judge said there was a real risk of the appellant offending again.

The court said it had a duty to consider the interests of the victim as well as those of society at large, besides those of the accused.

The court confirmed the ten-year prison sentence, as well as the 3-year treatment order handed down together with a protection order in favour of the victim. It also ordered that the man be listed in the sex offenders register.


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