The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

Qormi woman guilty of stabbing neighbour in argument over a man

Monday, 20 January 2020, 13:20 Last update: about 27 days ago

A woman from Qormi has been found guilty of stabbing her neighbour in an argument over a man, six years ago.

Ramona Magri, 36, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for four and had her driving licence suspended for three months after a court found her guilty of stabbing her sister's love rival Wendy Gauci in the hand and trying to run her over after an argument in San Bastjan Street in Qormi in August 2014.

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Magistrate Audrey Demicoli heard how Magri and Gauci had fallen out after Gauci’s sister had an affair with Magri’s husband. Magri claimed that on the day of the incident, she had parked near a café with her son in the back seat. At one point, she said Gauci had attacked her car with a metal pipe, hitting the window of the seat where her son was sitting. She had reversed and hit the pavement, she claimed, and had then gone to the police station to file a report.

But Gauci had also testified, telling the court how the argument had started the week before when her neighbour, Magri, had knocked at Gauci’s door at 2am, suspecting that her sister’s ex-partner was inside. Gauci didn’t open the door.

The day after, Gauci had received a number of abusive phonecalls from Magri’s sister and Magri herself. She had fled her home for a week, after which she had returned with the police to gather some personal items.

The next day she had been driving  in Qormi and spotted the accused outside a café. A physical altercation ensued in which the accused pulled out a knife and stabbed Gauci in the hand, as she covered her abdomen. The accused had then tried to run her over, hitting Gauci’s car in the process.

Insults were thrown and a table leg grabbed from somewhere was used to smash up Magri’s car, the court heard.

Magistrate Demicoli observed that Gauci’s testimony was “far more credible” than Magri’s and was corroborated by CCTV footage, which showed Magri run to her car and drive it next to Gauci’s the moment she spotted her.

The court also noted that the stab wound had caused a permanent debility in the hand, leaving a finger crooked.

It observed that no receipts for the damage caused had been exhibited. As the accused had a clean criminal record, the court felt it should award a suspended sentence tending towards the applicable maximum.

Finding Magri guilty as charged, the court condemned her to 2 years imprisonment, suspended for 4 years. Her driving licence was also suspended for 3 months. A 2-year protection order was issued in favour of Gauci. She was also ordered to pay €2209 in court costs.

Inspector Roderick Agius prosecuted.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri appeared for Magri.

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