Bail denied for man charged with Qormi burglary
An elderly man with an apparent drug problem has been remanded in custody after being charged with complicity in a burglary.
Anthony Balzan, 63, from Qormi, pleaded not guilty to charges of complicity in burglary, handling stolen goods, committing an offence during the operative period of a suspended sentence and recidivism.
Inspectors Roderick Agius and Shaun Friggieri told Magistrate Marseann Farrugia that the man had been arrested in connection with the burglary of a house in Qormi which occurred last week.
Lawyer Lennox Vella requested bail.
Inspector Agius objected. The police were still investigating the crime and had identified a person who was yet to be arrested, the inspector said. There were others who the police had spoken to and who still needed to testify, he added. He also objected to bail for the man’s own well-being. “He’s in a bad state and would benefit from a supervision order while under arrest to help him find his feet. He denies being on drugs but we have reason to believe that he is, both due to his appearance and the company he’s keeping. He’s living in a garage in Qormi. The owner is under arrest and the owner’s mother has changed the lock. Everything indicates that he has a problem,” the inspector said.
During yesterday’s sitting, Balzan was perplexed as to why he was in the dock and insisted that all he had done was give someone a lift.
Vella pointed out that the accused was ‘advanced’ in years and a family man. “Prison is not his place,” said the lawyer.
The court denied bail on the grounds that the accused could contact witnesses, but in view of the circumstances of the case, the magistrate issued a provisional supervision order, providing the man all the assistance and treatment he needs to deal with his problem.