A man with a history of drug use was charged in court after attacking a friend of his with a knife at the end of a week of cocaine use in an apparent “paranoid” episode where he thought his friend was “the devil”.
Josef Grech, 33, was found by police sitting on the doorstep of a residence in Bormla, where officers found evidence of both the aggressor and victim using cocaine together.
It transpired that the pair had been using cocaine together when Grech suddenly became paranoid, turning on his friend, where he thought he was the devil. He used a knife during his paranoid episode.
Grech, a relapser with previous drug use history, pleaded not guilty to the charges, with his defence counsel saying he had no criminal intentions, instead suffering a paranoid episode due to the continued cocaine use.
The prosecution highlighted the accused’s expressed desire to conquer his drug addiction. However, considering his vulnerable state, returning to his current residence might lead to further complications.
In a bid to keep him away from drugs, Grech’s mother affirmed her willingness to welcome her son back into their home.
Following these statements, the court declined bail due to the gravity of the charges, the potential for evidence tampering, and the accused’s drug dependency.
Magistrate Marsanne Farrugia, presiding over the court, issued a temporary supervision order, placing Grech under the guidance of a probation official.
Lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri served as defence counsel for the accused.
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