Current Affairs
Man enters factory to steal, comes face to face with owner

Charles Spiteri has been sentenced to 46 months in jail after being found guilty of attempted theft from a factory at the Corradino Industrial Estate in Paola.

The Court, Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech presiding, was told that Spiteri had tried to commit a theft from the factory, but the attempted theft was disrupted when accused was caught by the owner and his father.

Spiteri was charged with attempted theft from the factory, damage to the factory, and with being a relapser.

Inspector Spiridione Zammit testified in Court that the Police had found a boiler suit, a screwdriver, boots with some blood on them and a piece of wood on the factory floor, and they had found some blood near the gate, which blood matched that of the accused. The Inspector further testified that a pistol with the magazine not in place and a shotgun had been found in the vehicle belonging to the factory owner’s father. The Inspector added that the owner’s father had never admitted to firing a warning shot, but had admitted to holding a firearm. The factory owner testified that his father had pointed the firearm at accused but had not fired any shot.

Inspector Joseph Mercieca stated in evidence that accused had said someone had fired, but this did not tally with their investigations. Inspector Mercieca further stated that no break-in had been found at the factory, and referred to a padlock which secured the back door, which had been changed for one like it.

It resulted from the Inspector’s evidence that from investigations accused had contradicted himself, as he stated that he was on his way to Paola Square for the Hibernians championship victory celebrations, when he heard groaning sounds from the factory and had gone to investigate. The Inspector noted that the case had occurred in the morning, whereas the celebrations were scheduled for the evening.  The Inspector added that accused had heard a sheet iron plate fall and someone shouting, and had gone to check this out, and on the way back he had heard a firearm being cocked and was hit with a piece of wood.

Police constable Conrad Ellul stated that the factory owner had said he noted thefts were being committed from the factory, and he and his father had set up a watch. They stated that they had seen a man entering the factory, as if he owned the place, and when they approached him the man had run off. When the owner chased him, accused pointed a screwdriver at him, and the owner defended himself with a piece of wood. Referring to the pistol, the factory owner testified that his father had pointed the weapon but had not fired any shot.

Based on evidence, the Court found accused guilty, and noted that he had been given various opportunities to reform himself and overcome his drug habit. The Court handed down a 46-month sentence and ordered accused to undergo a rehabilitation programme.


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