As Malta tries to understand how a man could have attacked and murdered the mother of his children, people close to Justin Borg, the man accused of killing Chantelle Chetcuti, cannot believe he could be involved in this.
“He is a good guy, who has passed through some terrible times in his life, but he’s not like this… no way. I would have never imagined this man would have done this,” said someone who knows Borg and was shocked by the national news.
But someone else who has known him for years described him as “controlling and possessive”.
Speaking to people who know him, words not usually associated with a murderer are used to describe Borg.
He was considered a “chill” guy and a “family man” by some.
One person says that Borg was one of the least violent people he knew – indeed, if you approached him to start a fight, it would be Borg who walks away, according to someone who knew him.
However, it is known that Borg had a problematic relationship with his mother growing up, spending most of his time with his father as a youth.
Later on in life, his father moved to Australia, only for Borg to later discover that the man he believed was his father growing up, was actually not – he was another man.
He was left with trust issues after all of this, his loved ones say.
A fan of trance music as well as going out boating in summer, Borg had been with his partner Chantelle Chetcuti for at least 16 years.
Another person who grew up with him said he used to act “possessive and crazy”, especially when they fought. While Borg was on speaking terms with the Chetcuti family, they did not have the best relationship due to some previous incidents.
They had two daughters together and were seen attending events together until recently.
Their relationship, which has been described as “toxic” by someone who knew them, was rocky.
Borg had a drug problem in his teenage years, which Chetcuti helped him overcome.
Indeed, back in 2013 Chetcuti had even filed a police report over domestic violence, naming Justin Borg as the aggressor.
The couple were said to be on and off regularly, especially over the last few months.
With Borg set to be tried in court over the murder, his close friends and loved ones fear that he may commit suicide. “He’s ruined his own life, his daughters cannot look at him, what does he have left?” asked one person.
However, he has entrusted leading criminal lawyer Franco Debono with his defence and has since pleaded not guilty to the charges, so it seems he will be fighting the murder charge.
Malta is still reeling from the shocking attack last Sunday night, with a protest held the day after her death and the Justice Minister pledging to strengthen the battle against domestic violence since then.
However, it took the murder of a Maltese mother to restart the discussion – and even after all the talk, we have learnt very little to help us understand how one can harm someone they are supposed to love… let alone kill them.