An off-duty Maltese police officer was left beaten and lost two teeth (and a wrap) after getting into a fight with an Italian man who said the Maltese man was looking at his girlfriend.
27-year-old Italian man Alessio Minelli has been found guilty of grievously injuring and assaulting the Maltese officer in a fight back in the early hours of 6th July 2017 in St Julian’s.
It was reported that Minelli and his girlfriend were returning to their parked car when an argument broke out between them because they couldn’t find the keys for the car.
According to the Maltese officer, he was with a friend who was going to take him home in his car. His friend entered the car, but the officer stood outside to finish eating a wrap as he didn’t want to drop anything inside the vehicle.
The Italian couple were fighting nearby and, at one point, Minelli allegedly starting to kick the car. Minelli then went up to the officer and allegedly asked him why he was staring at his girlfriend. When the officer denied it, Minelli hit the wrap out of his hand, and began to beat him.
Minelli’s girlfriend allegedly held onto his legs while Minelli beat the officer on the ground.
For his part, Minelli denied this version of events. He said he had asked the officer why he was standing there with his car door open, and that the Maltese man was under the influence, and that it was he who had approached them and pushed his girlfriend to the ground, whereupon he and the officer started to fight on the ground.
Soon after, the police found them, still on the ground, fighting.
Magistrate Astrid May Grima, presiding over the court, listened to a dentist who said the Maltese man had lost two teeth, at the cost of €650. Medical experts also testified, saying the victim had received grievous facial injuries, and Minelli had sustained slight bruising.
After hearing the evidence, Grima announced that the Maltese man’s version was more credible, and believed that Minelli had started the argument since he was the first to speak.
Apart from being found guilty, the Italian man was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for three years. He was also told to stay away from the victim against a personal guarantee of €1,500.