UPDATED: Six years’ jail for attacking Yana Mintoff with knife and trying to burn down house
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Report: Ritianne Agius
Video: Arkivji - Television Malta
Yana Mintoff’s former partner was sentenced to six years in prison after he was found guilty of injuring her and her son with a knife, as well as of setting her Tarxien house on fire.
The case goes back to 24 October 2016 when an argument broke out between Gheorghe Popa, a 40-year-old man of Romanian nationality, and Yana Mintoff, with whom he was in a relationship.
The Court, presided over by Magistrate Joseph Mifsud, heard how Mintoff wanted to end the relationship and had packed Popa’s bags. It was at this point that he assaulted her and her son, Daniel Mainwaring, with a knife.
After this, Popa had climbed up on the roof where he tried to set fire to the house, and members of the Civil Protection Department had to be called in. He had also stabbed himself and ended up with life-threatening injuries.
Medical experts testified on the wounds sustained by the three people, stating that Popa had four stab wounds to his stomach and had lost a lot of blood. Mintoff Bland had a stab wound on her chest and another on her arm, but they were not serious. Her son also had a stab wound but it was described as a slight injury.
Popa was found guilty of slightly injuring Mintoff Bland and her son, as well as attempting to seriously injure them, although it was not attempted murder. He was also found guilty of brandishing a weapon against them and of setting fire to the residence.
However, Popa was found not guilty of holding Mintoff Bland against her will, of threatening or harassing her, nor was he found guilty of being in possession of a weapon and carrying a knife outside the home.
The Court remarked that this type of behaviour could never be justified, where a person does not accept the decision of one’s partner to end the relationship, and it therefore wanted to send a message that this type of violence was not acceptable.
The Court concluded that Popa is a threat not only to Mintoff Bland and Mainwaring, but also to society in general.
Apart from the six year jail sentence, the accused was also ordered to pay €12,661 in Court expenses.
The Prosecution was led by Inspector Spiridione Zammit.