A man was fined 2,500 and handed a suspended sentence today after being convicted of slapping a teacher at a Cospicua state school earlier this week.

The man, Joseph Bondin, 34 from Cospicua, had claimed that he had heard that his partner's son was being mocked for being somewhat short. 

He marched to the school to confront the teacher. The encounter inside the headmaster's office at St Margaret’s School went awry and Mr Bondin allegedly slapped the teacher.

Mr Bondin was charged with assault, threatening the teacher through a telecommunications network and slightly injuring him.

Following the incident, Mr Bondin was admitted to hospital over an unrelated issue.

He was arraigned following his release, with his lawyer telling Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras that the assault was a "one-off incident" sparked off by the teacher's comments. 

Lawyer Maxilene Ellul said her client had apologised and promised not to repeat his wrongdoing. Mr Bondin, however denied having slapped the teacher during the confrontation.

In view of the circumstances of the case, the court declared the accused guilty, handing him a five-month prison sentence suspended for two years and a fine of €2,500, which tended towards the minimum punishment applicable.

The court also issued a two-year Protection Order warning the parent that “he was not to approach the teacher in any way.”

Inspector Christabelle Chetcuti prosecuted. Lawyer Maxilene Ellul was defence counsel. Lawyer Marouska Debono appeared parte civile.

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