Prisoner found guilty of assaulting prison guard at hospital

A woman who is serving a prison sentence was placed under a probation order after she was found guilty of assaulting a prison guard while she was being treated at Mater Dei.

Lorraine Vella was charged that on 17 July 2018, at around 2.00pm, at the Emergency and Accident department, she caused slight injuries to prison guard, Maria Schembri.

She was accused of threatening her, resisting arrest and of uttering obscenities in public, of not obeying orders and of breaching another Court sentence.

Appearing in front of Magistrate Simone Grech, the Court heard that Vella had an argument with Schembri that morning because she had not allowed her out of her cell.

After she was informed that she would be kept locked up for three days because of her behaviour, it was reported that she swallowed a key.

She was taken to the hospital, and during the ECG she was kept in handcuffs after the doctor told the prison guard that they did not have to be taken off.

It was after her medical exam was ready that she lunged at the prison guard and assaulted her before she was stopped by other guards.

The other prison guards also testified who confirmed that Vella had assaulted their colleague. Professionals who work at the prison testified that Vella’s behaviour has improved since then.

Magistrate Grech found her guilty of all charges except for uttering obscenities in public.

She was placed under a three year probation order and was ordered not to approach Schembri or harass her.

The Prosecution was led by Inspector Bernadette Valletta.