Man fined €5,000 for blas­phem­ing dur­ing court sit­ting

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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