A man who drove through Paceville with his car stereo playing at full blast ended up in court on Friday following an alleged run-in with a police officer who narrowly escaped injury. 

Court heard how Melvin Debono, a 30-year old car dealer from Paola who was out on bail under two separate court decrees, was driving his Isuzu vehicle in Triq Elija Zammit on Wednesday evening.

A police sergeant approached the vehicle's tinted window, flagging down the driver because of the excessively loud music, the prosecution explained when the suspect was escorted to court under arrest.

Although Debono stopped the car, he suddenly turned aggressive and drove off, dragging the policeman along with him for a short distance.

He managed to flee the scene, however, the car was subsequently tracked down inside a garage in Paola and the driver was arrested. 

Upon his arraignment, Debono pleaded not guilty to a raft of charges stemming from that incident, including threatening and violently resisting the officer, refusing to obey legitimate police orders, dangerous driving, as well as driving a vehicle with tinted glass, excessively loud music and without wearing a seatbelt. 

He was also charged with breaching two previous bail decrees as well as relapsing. 

Moreover, he was charged over a separate incident that allegedly took place on Wednesday wherein Debono harassed and threatened a third party, as well as misusing electronic communication equipment. 

A request for bail was strongly objected to by the prosecution who informed the court that the at the time of the Paceville incident, the accused was allegedly in breach of a court-imposed curfew. 

Yet this argument was rebutted by defence lawyer Franco Debono who explained that the alleged breach of bail was still to be proved and moreover, a recent legislative amendment meant that re-arrest and forfeiture of the bail bond were no longer mandatory but left at the court’s discretion. 

Although members of the police corps deserved respect, in this case no injuries had been sustained, the lawyer noted. 

After hearing submissions by both parties, the court, presided by magistrate Astrid May Grima, upheld the request against a deposit of €5,000, a personal guarantee of €20,000, daily signing of the bail book and a curfew between 6pm and 6am.

Inspectors Jonathan Cassar and Darren Buhagiar prosecuted.

Lawyer Marion Camilleri was also defence counsel. 

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