Syrian charged with breaking protection order against daughter
A 55-year-old Syrian man was granted bail after he was arraigned in court for breaching conditions of discharge, breaching the conditions of a protection order and assisting his daughter and her friend to absent themselves from a residential home.
The accused, who cannot be named to keep the identity of his daughter, who is a minor, from being identified, pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Lawyers George Hyzler and Stephen Tonna Lowell, representing the accused, explained that it is an extremely common occurrence for youngsters to escape from residential homes they have been placed in. The court heard how the daughter allegedly often escaped to hang out with dubious men of “a certain age”. When this was reported, Dr Hyzler said, a subsequent report was filed against the father.
“I think Appogg (the state social support agency) failed to acknowledge that the father genuinely wants what’s best for his daughter,” he said.
This man saw the state place his daughter in a residential home because he was unable to care for her, and then saw that the home was not caring for her anyway, Dr Hyzler added.
The court heard how sporadically the daughter would go to her father’s house, where he would give her clothes or a very small sum of money to help her out. It was also pointed out that the accused was always cooperative with the police, albeit a little insistent.
Prosecuting inspector Elliot Magri however said that it was like the accused did not want to acknowledge that there was a protection order issued against him going to see his daughter. This was issued by Magistrate Marse-Ann Farrugia on 8 August 2015.
Inspector Magri said that it was not unlikely for the accused, after being at a police station and personally told by the inspector himself that he cannot go to see his daughter, would go directly to the home where his daughter resides.
The daughter and her friend are 16 years of age and are still minors, therefore Mr Magri said that the friend of the daughter would also be at the residence of the father. In this instance, there is no family relation, he said.
The court heard how the father and daughter had a turbulent relationship, however in the last few months this relationship made a turn for the better, which is why she would go to him for clothes and money.
Magistrate Charmaine Galea, presiding over the case, granted the accused bail against a personal guarantee of €1,000. He is not to make any contact with his daughter, the friend or a particular social worker close to the case.