The Malta Independent 18 September 2021, Saturday

Man charged with circulating sexually explicit photos of ex-girlfriend

Monday, 26 July 2021, 17:56 Last update: about 3 months ago

A jilted lover has been charged with harassing his ex-partner and circulating sexually explicit photos of her which then went viral.

Msida resident Jaysal Kuyil Kandam, a 31-year-old delivery driver from India, was accused of harassing and reproducing the photos of his ex-partner, as well as causing her slight bodily harm, amongst other charges.

Inspector Eman Hayman told magistrate Josette Demicoli that the accused had been in a relationship with the victim, but that she had broken up with him. Kandam did not take the break up well, said the inspector, explaining that there were a number of attempts to call her on the phone.

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After she had blocked his number, the accused started sending the woman emails, he said.

The woman then changed her email address, but when she then spotted the accused hiding behind a car whilst she was on a bus stop, her concern increased.

There were subsequent violent incidents where the victim was slightly injured and after these the woman received an email from the accused threatening to distribute sexual media pertaining to the woman amongst her friends.

She hadn’t taken the threat seriously, said the inspector, but later the accused had sent her an email, apparently also sent to others, featuring a naked video of the woman. She had not consented to its distribution, said the inspector, adding that the video subsequently went viral.

Kandam, who made prayer-like gestures, hands clasped, in the dock for most of today’s sitting, registered a not guilty plea.

His lawyer, Robert Piscopo, requested bail.

The prosecution objected as the victim has not yet testified, but pointed out that it had also requested a protection order, should the accused be released from arrest. The physical harassment had ended on June 25 and from then on it was mostly digital harassment, said the inspector.

“The accused appeared hurt by the fact that the victim had left him for someone else,” he added.

Piscopo pointed out that if Kandam was not allowed to work, he would lose his residence permit and argued that a protection order would be sufficient to shield the woman from further harassment.

The court, after having heard the submissions by the parties, said it deemed that the defence’s request should be acceded to because the accused satisfied the guarantees requested by law.

A protection order was issued in favour of the alleged victim until final judgment was handed down in the case.

The court warned the man not to contact or follow the woman, even through third parties or face further criminal action. “It is as if this lady does not exist” cautioned the magistrate.

Kandam was ordered to sign a bail book twice a week and secure his release by depositing €750 and providing a personal guarantee of €8,000.

Any failure to abide by the conditions laid down would mean a lot of time in prison, the magistrate said.

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