Man fined €5,000 for blaspheming during court sitting
A Cospicua man was fined €5,000 for blaspheming at a magistrate in court yesterday.
George Farrugia, 58, known as iċ-Ċapalaw, was arraigned before Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech yesterday afternoon, accused of stealing a gold bracelet from an elderly woman in Ħamrun on 27 September.
The charges were aggravated by violence, the age of the victim and the time. He was also accused of holding her against her will.
He was further charged with stealing two suitcases on from Valletta 7 October and relapsing.
But as he was spoken to by lawyer Martin Fenech, the man misunderstood him and, believing that he was about to be jailed for two years in order to qualify for drug rehabilitation, broke out in blasphemous language, shouting and jabbing his finger at the court and cursing at the magistrate.
Fined €1,000 at first, the man incurred an additional €1,000 for every curse he uttered, bringing the total to at least €5,000 by the time he was removed from the courtroom.
Inspectors Saviour Baldacchino and Daryl Borg prosecuted.
A seemingly contrite Farrugia was eventually led back into the courtroom, where he begged the magistrate for forgiveness and admitted needing treatment for his drug problem.
Replying, the magistrate said: “Insulting me is disrespectful, but what I cannot accept is blasphemy.”
“I’m a Satanist,” the accused answered, matter of factly. “Look, I have an upside down cross tattooed on my neck.”
He pleaded guilty to the charges.
The court imposed a treatment order, pending sentencing.