A Maltese international footballer has been sentenced to 15-months in prison for  harassing his former partner in breach of court orders delivered days earlier.

Clifford Gatt Baldacchino, 31, had “only himself to blame” for the consequences of failing to abide by earlier warnings, a court declared.

A fortnight before his arrest at the end of August, Mr Gatt Baldacchino was placed under a protection order and given a suspended sentence for a similar case.

Yet he ignored the court's warnings and persisted in bombarding the woman with phone calls, even following her to the beach one Sunday, although he eventually walked away without talking to her.

His attitude amounted to “enormous harassment” and anxiety for the victim, Magistrate Ian Farrugia said. He said Mr Baldacchino “was to take sole responsibility for his actions.”

In view of the accused’s guilty plea, the serious nature of the offences which fall under domestic violence law and the fact that he had ignored court orders, the court observed that “its hands were tied” in sentencing him.

Mr Baldacchino was given a total term of 15 months - a 9-month jail term and six months under the earlier suspended sentence.

He was also fined €1,000 ande the court issued a 5-year Protection Order in favour of the victim.

Inspector Robert Vella prosecuted.

Mr Gatt Baldacchino has given notice that he will appeal the judgment. 

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