Court shows le­niency to man who as­saulted of­fi­cers after hear­ing he has changed his ways

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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