Liam Debono was remanded in custody after being charged on Saturday with breaching his bail conditions.

The teenager, who is accused of the attempted murder of police constable Simon Schembri last May, was arrested on Friday after being caught driving in Luqa by an off-duty police sergeant.

He was arraigned before magistrate Joe Mifsud, where he denied the charges but did not request bail.

Slouched in his seat

Police sergeant Kevin Curmi testified that he had been driving his personal vehicle close to the airport roundabout at around 5.45pm on Friday when Mr Debono passed in front of him in a beige Fiat Uno.

He said the driver caught his attention due to the way he was slouched low in his seat. He recognised Mr Debono as he had been part of the investigating team on the attempted murder of Simon Schembri.

He followed the car while calling in for support. When Mr Debono heard the police sirens he drove into a side street and attempted to swap seats with a passenger; when police caught up, Mr Debono was sitting in the passenger seat while the passenger was outside the vehicle, about to get in to the driver seat.

Inspector Fabian Fleri told the court the passenger had admitted that Mr Debono had been driving, but said it had only been for a few minutes.

The inspector said police had also established that Mr Debono was regularly sleeping away from his home in Zejtun, in breach of his bail conditions.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud said the bail conditions had been clear and not open to interpretation, and breaching those conditions should be considered a serious offence.

He said the court had to keep in mind the well-being of society.

The case will continue on Wednesday.

Inspector Fabian Fleri prosecuted, with lawyer Victor Bugeja appearing on Mr Debono's behalf as legal aid. 

Mr Debono was made to fork out a €10,000 deposit and €40,000 personal guarantee when he was granted bail in September 2018. Two months prior, a court had put him on probation and ordered that he be denied a driving licence for an unrelated case related to car thefts.