Court shows leniency to man who assaulted officers after hearing he has changed his ways
A man who assaulted police officers who tried to book him for smoking inside a Paceville nightclub has had a prison sentence changed into a probation order after a court heard how he has since changed his ways.
Ludwig Cassar, 36, had originally been sentenced to six months in prison over the early morning fracas. A court had heard how the accused had been approached by police officers for smoking inside the Footloose club and was asked to step outside to have his particulars taken.
Mr Cassar swore at the officers once outside and resisted when the officers tried to arrest him, damaging their uniforms. He also screamed that he would find them “one by one” and that he had just completed a 20-month prison term and was not afraid to go back.
The court of appeal, presided over by Mr Justice Giovanni Grixti, said the original sentence had been justified – in fact it had been close to the minimum. The judge said it was unacceptable for anyone to attack police officers. The accused had also resorted to violence instead of acknowledging that he had broken the law and apologising. The accused, the court said, should count himself lucky that he was not given a harsher sentence, given his criminal record.
But the circumstances of the case, which took place in 2009, merited a different approach. The court heard how Mr Cassar had not been convicted of any other serious crimes and had held a full-time job for the past year and a half. His employer also vouched for his improvement.
Judge Grixti said this was a window of opportunity where punishment could be decreased seeing that the accused had taken a different path.
The original six-month prison sentence was converted into a two-year probation order.