A man charged with violating a court-ordered curfew and attempting to evade arrest blamed the incident on his dog on Tuesday. 

The incident occurred in Żabbar in the very early hours of Monday morning when police officers, armed with an arrest warrant, went out in search of 31-year-old Cospicua resident Sean Grech. 

Grech had allegedly failed to turn up at separate proceedings before a Magistrates’ Court.

However, when the officers came across Grech at around 1am, the accused made a run for it with the police putting up chase. 

One of the policemen bumped into some scaffolding, grievously injuring his head, the court was told. 

Grech claimed he had been chasing his dog that ran away when the officers turned up. 

Prosecuting Inspector Darren Buhagiar told the court that footage of the incident showed how the owner had in fact run off before his dog did. 

That footage, captured on one of the officers’ bodycam, was aired during Grech’s arraignment on Tuesday afternoon. 

Grech was arrested, pleading all along with the officers to be allowed to take his dog safely back home.  

The man’s concern for his pet was evident even throughout his arraignment.

While pleading not guilty to causing involuntary grievous harm to the policeman, refusing to obey legitimate orders, walking his dog in public without a leash, breaching previous bail conditions as well as relapsing, he insisted that he simply wanted to make sure that his dog was safe at home. 

His legal aid counsel Mark Mifsud Cutajar put forward a request for bail.

The prosecutor objected not only because the accused was meant to be home by 9pm and evidently had breached that curfew, but it was clear from the footage that he did not run away after his dog. 

Lawyer Mifsud Cutajar countered that the charge of allegedly breaching bail conditions was no justification to deny bail, pointing out further that the court had adequate measures to ensure that the accused abided by bail conditions.

The prosecution argued further that the accused had no fixed address since he first appeared to live with one parent and now lived with the other parent.

But the man’s lawyer said that the accused claimed to have lived at his current address for years and even looked after his father who had health problems. 

After hearing those submissions the court, presided over by magistrate Monica Vella, upheld the request against a personal guarantee of €3,000, signing the bail book twice weekly and abiding by a curfew between 9pm and 6am.

The court also issued a protection order in favour of the constable involved in the incident. 

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