A 21-year old youth was given a three-year probation order after he was found guilty in Court of stealing three firearms from a Ħal Far farmhouse, in the limits of Birżebbuġa.
The case occurred in February 2017 when Jide Mallia, accompanied by another youth and two girls, went in the farmhouse which belongs to members of the family of one of the girls.
The farmhouse owners reported that they found two Bennelli and Luigi Franchi shotguns and an air rifle missing. One of them said that Mallia knew where the weapons were and sometimes took hold of them when he was previously invited at the farmhouse by his niece.
Mallia denied in a statement to the police that he entered through a window to steal the weapons and when confronted with the fact that his fingerprints were found on the window, he said that he clinched to the window when he was about to fall.
However, the Court rejected this version because it said that in order to place his hands on the outside part of the window, Mallia needed to scale a bench.
The Court also considered the testimony of one of the female youths and of the other youth who both described what happened on that day. While the girl said that the two youths distanced themselves for some time, the other youth – Sven Woodhead – said that Mallia told him to be on the look out for the girls until he enters through the window to grab some shotguns.
Woodhead stated that he assisted Mallia to bring out the three weapons from the window because he couldn’t jump with them. Then, they hid them among grass. He added that after they accompanied the girls home, they returned and collected the shotguns. The day after, Mallia gave him €100 for his participation in the robbery.
Presiding Magistrate Rachel Montebello found Mallia guilty on the basis of the two youths’ testimony and on the fingerprints. The Court also considered that Mallia had already been found guilty of two other crimes at an early age.
The Magistrate also considered a report by a probation officer who recommended that Mallia is provided with assistance to distance himself from vices and crime, and strengthen his values.
Prosecution was led by Inspector Mario Xiberras, while Dr Franco Debono and Dr Amadeus Cachia appeared for Mallia.