A man arraigned for breaching bail conditions imposed on him gave police an address that turned out to be a construction site, the court heard on Monday.

Stephen Galea, 44, from Zabbar was accused of breaching his bail by failing to abide by conditions imposed on him when he was granted bail in separate proceedings in October 2020. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. The defence asked Magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit for bail.

The prosecution said that Galea had not signed the bail book at the Zabbar police station as instructed since last April and has not been turning up to his court proceedings either.

Furthermore, when police turned up at the address provided by Galea as his fixed address, they discovered a property under heavy construction, which the prosecution said could not reasonably be believed to have people living in it.

Making a case for bail, Galea’s lawyer argued that the man was still presumed innocent and that he had been completing a drug rehabilitation program. He was now able to provide the police with a fixed address in Mosta and abide by any conditions imposed by the court.

The probation officer assigned to Galea will be testifying that the man had been attending a drug rehabilitation program and had since tested negative for narcotics, his lawyer said. Galea had since also found himself gainfully employed and denying him bail would cause him to lose his job.

Rebutting, the prosecution said that when inquiring with Sedqa, the organisation running the rehabilitation program Galea attended, his social worker said that Galea had not completed the program he started.

Sedqa also said that Galea had begun to attend the program at the beginning of August and that this did not account for his failure to sign the bail book or turn up to court since April.

After hearing both sides make their case, the magistrate denied bail.

“At this stage, the court feels that if the accused is given bail he will once again fail to abide by the conditions imposed by the court and is therefore denying bail at this stage.” 

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