Three of the six men accused of savagely beating two clubbers outside a Paceville club two years agowere placed under a community service order for a total of 600 hours.

The incident was captured on footage that went viral on social media.

Simon Cassar of Swatar, William Briguglio of Valletta, Carmelo Zammit of Valletta, Carmel Sghendo and Jurghen Sghendo of Msida and Ezekiel George Mintoff of Sta Venera were accused of causing grievous injuries to a Syrian and a Jordanian man.

They were further accused of instigating a fight and breach of peace. Mr Sghendo was separately accused as a recidivist.

Only one of the accused had a licence to work as a security guard.

The violent episode broke out when the two clubbers, Ali Alhasan and Al Smadi, had attempted to gain entry into a club in the early hours of May 21, 2017.

CCTV footage had only partly captured the incident, showing Mr Smadi talking to a number of bouncers, including Mr Zammit, when Mr Briguglio came up behind him and hit him flat on the head.

Yet the man hardly had time to turn round before Mr Mintoff assaulted him, kicking and punching him until the man ended up senseless on the ground.

The victim ended up with a fractured eye socket.

The other victim, Mr Alhasan, later testified that he and his friend had been making their way into the club at around 5am, greeting the security at the door with a “good morning” when suddenly the blows came raining down on them.

The second man had told police that there had been some 10 to 15 bouncers involved in the attack.

In a 47-page long judgment, the court, presided over by magistrate Joseph Mifsud, applauded the role of investigative journalism, saying that this was important in a democratic society and pointing out that this case had come to light through reports on the media and after footage of the incident was shared on social media.

The court observed that Mr Alhasan had testified that Mr Cassar had hit him with a broken glass bottle, while Mr Sghendo had pushed him onto a glass door.

This account tallied with his injuries, which included a knife wound to his hand inflicted by a person whose identity the victim had been unable to determine.

On the basis of all evidence put forward, the court declared Mr Cassar and Mr Sghendo guilty of grievously injuring Mr Alhasan, while Mr Mintoff was found guilty of grievously injuring Mr Smadi as well as Mr Alhasan.

Mr Sghendo was separately convicted of recidivism.

The other three accused were cleared of all charges.

As for the accusation that the men had been working as bouncers without a licence, the court concluded that there was no evidence that they had been working as such and that this could not be presumed just because they were dressed in black and standing outside the club.

This accusation thus was not proved.

Mr Cassar, Mr Sghendo and Mr Mintoff were placed under a community service order for 150, 200, 250 hours respectively, besides being ordered to pay €1,764 in court expenses and placed under a personal guarantee of €2,000 for one year.

Senior Inspector Trevor Micallef prosecuted.
Lawyer Joe Giglio was counsel to Carmel Zammit.
Lawyer Andy Ellul was counsel to Simon Cassar.
Lawyers Charlon Gouder, Andy Ellul and Ramona Attard were counsel to Carmel and Jurgen Sghendo.
Lawyer Kathleen Grima was counsel to Ezekiel Mintoff.
Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi was counsel to William Briguglio.