A man who was caught breaking a court-imposed curfew by police was given another chance by a court today. 

Wayne Delia, 31, from Paola, was stopped last night by Rapid Intervention Unit members close to 1.30am on the streets of Marsa. Checks revealed that Mr Delia ought to have been at home at the time, in terms of an earlier bail decree which had imposed a curfew between 11.00pm and 6.30am.

The culprit, who has long been battling a drug problem and who has been certified as ‘clean’ over the past three months, was taken to Mount Carmel hospital to await proceedings, give a medical examination and escorted to court. 

Wearing shorts, a sleeveless vest and trainers, the man listened and nodded in agreement as both prosecution and defence counsel explained the circumstances which led to his arrest.

The court, presided over by magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, heard how the accused's girlfriend had allegedly lost her mobile phone in Marsa. The man had gone to the area to help trace the device when his encounter with the police occurred.

Although the accused had also failed to sign the bail book on two consecutive days, the defence counsel pointed out that his client was in possession of a medical certificate which accounted for this failure.

“I know this man. I've given him several chances” remarked the magistrate. “Yet I do not wish to hinder the progress which he appears to have achieved so far.”

Upon hearing that the accused was being followed by an officer from Sedqa, a probation officer and a representative from the foundation ‘Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl’, who had even offered him refuge, the court upheld the request for bail.

The man was once again granted provisional release from custody against a personal guarantee of €5,000 and under strict orders to sign the bail book on a daily basis. He was also ordered to observe a stricter curfew between 9.00pm and 6.00am.

The court put off the case to next week for the production of witnesses, warning the man to avoid further brushes with the law. Breaching bail conditions might incur a jail sentence, warned the magistrate.

Inspector Joseph Mercieca prosecuted.
Lawyer Noel Bartolo was defence counsel.

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