A 36-year-old man who lives in Żabbar this morning pleaded not guilty to grievously injuring a woman in what his lawyer claimed was "a one-time incident".

Ahmed Sherfid also pleaded not guilty to threatening two women and a man with physical violence, insulting them, creating a public disturbance at night, taking up weapons against them and misusing electronic communications equipment.

The prosecution objected to the defence's request for bail and argued that should it be granted Mr Sherfid should be prohibited from approaching Marsascala. It also requested that a protection order be issued in favour of the victims.

"This was a one-time incident," lawyer Mark Vassallo argued, adding that it was clear that the accused was not a "hardened criminal" and that it was an "act of folly".

The accused's half-sister, Grace Calleja, took the witness said, to explain that the family was going through a difficult time following the death of their mother. She added that her brother was a kind person and that she was ready to follow his progress and check on him regularly.

Magistrate Aaron Bugeja warned the accused that if he breached his bail conditions he would drag his sister with him in hot water.

He was granted bail against a deposit of €4,000 and a personal guarantee of another €4,000.