Two young people who allegedly assaulted a 72-year old pedestrian as he tried to stop them from vandalising a parked vehicle on Sunday morning were remanded in custody on Monday.

Ronan Clyde Hamill, born in France and having an Irish passport, together with Paula Romero Fernandez, a Spanish national, both 23-year old and staying at a hostel, pleaded not guilty to a lengthy list of charges stemming from Sunday’s violent episode.

The incident took place at around 7am at Main Street, St Julian’s when the elderly man spotted the two allegedly damaging a Peugeot vehicle belonging to the Civil Protection Department.

As the man tried to take photos with his mobile phone to record the damage, the two allegedly snatched away the device and then turned upon the septuagenarian.

Prosecuting Inspector Jonathan Cassar explained that the youths had kicked the alleged victim as he lay on the ground.

The elderly man suffered seven fractured ribs, the court was told.

CCTV footage from the scene of the violence led police to the suspects.

Upon their arraignment, the two pleaded not guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm, wilfully causing over €2500 in damages to third party property, insulting and threatening the elderly man, disturbing the public peace and being drunk in public.

The prosecution pointed out that the youths had been found drunk in public the day before the incident and were breaching COVID-19 measures.

A request for bail was turned down by the court, presided over by magistrate Nadine Lia, also in view of the fact that the accused have no ties in Malta, are jobless and a number of civilians, including the alleged victim, were still to testify.

The court issued a Protection Order in respect of the victim.

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