A man facing criminal action over two stolen LED television sets was acquitted by a court that deemed his version as “easily credible”.

Pierre Cremona was prosecuted after two television sets, reported stolen from the shop on Sir Paul Boffa Avenue on Christmas Day back in 2012, were tracked down by investigators at his father’s Tarxien home some months after the robbery. 

Cremona was charged with handling stolen property, relapsing, as well as breaching previous bail conditions.

During the proceedings, the shop owner testified about that December 25 day when his mobile signalled that the alarm at the shop had gone off. 

He soon discovered the break-in and subsequently reported that two LED television sets - 55-inch (140cms) and 40-inch (102cms)- worth €1,690 and €389 respectively, had been stolen. 

Acting upon confidential information, police eventually tracked down two televisions, with serial numbers matching those stolen, at Cremona’s family home. 

But the man denied any wrongdoing, insisting he had bought the sets from a man nicknamed Sebgħin for a total price of €1,400, in part settlement of a pending debt. 

That seller at first denied Cremona’s version when confronted by the police but later confirmed it, explaining how he had acquired the two second-hand television sets from a third party who had since passed away.

He had bought both items for €900 at the Cospicua open air market on condition they were not stolen merchandise, the man told investigators.

The missing packaging and remote controls of the televisions, although promised to the seller, had actually never materialised.

In light of all evidence put forward, the court, presided over by magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit, observed that Cremona’s explanation was not “fantastical” but “easily credible” and had also been confirmed by the seller from whom he had received the electronic items. 

That evidence was weighed in light of three fundamental principles underpinning the offence, namely the illegitimate source of the goods, their acquisition by the accused and knowledge at the time of acquisition about their illegitimate source. 

In this case, the evidence did not support that charge and nor had the prosecution put forward evidence to prove the charges of relapsing and breach of bail, said the court, pronouncing an acquittal.

Lawyers Franco Debono, Marion Camilleri and Francesca Zarb were defence counsel. 

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