Footballer Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, who was given a 15-month prison sentence two days ago, has been released on bail subject to a number of conditions, and has also been placed under a treatment order.
Gatt Baldacchino had admitted to continuing to harass his former partner when he had tried to call her just days after he had been given a six-month suspended sentence and ordered not to contact her.
The Court had declared two days ago that its hands were tied in view of Gatt Baldacchino’s behaviour, and had sentenced him to 15 months behind bars.
The footballer appealed the sentence, and during today’s sitting he argued that he had called his former partner some 20 times as his salary was in her bank account, and he wanted to ask her to send it to him. He added that he had even sent an email, and when he had called he appeared as an unknown number, as his former partner had blocked his number on her mobile.
The Court, Madam Justice Consuelo Scerri Herrera presiding, declared that even if he had a genuine case, Gatt Baldacchino should never have ignored a Court order.
Further stating that bail was not an automatic right, the Court took into consideration the fact that the appeal had only been made in regard to the penalty, and therefore there was no fear of tampering with evidence, and neither that accused would abscond.
Gatt Baldachino was accordngly granted bail, with a number of conditions which in the Court’s view will help him to address his obsession about his former partner. Conditions include his not being allowed to leave home during the night hours, obeying his probation officer, and being examined by a psychiatrist.
Inspector Robert Vella prosecuted. Lawyers Edward Gatt, Mark Vassallo and Jean Paul Sammut were Defence Counsel.
15-month sentence for persisting in annoying former partner