A man who slashed a woman’s throat and severely injured her during a mugging in St Julian's four years ago was jailed for 18 years on Monday.

Rawad Briga Abdelsalam, a 33-year-old Libyan quarry worker, was convicted of the attempted murder which took place in Lourdes Lane, St Julian’s early on August 28, 2016.

He slashed the victim’s throat after approaching her and her 33-year old Polish female friend to try to steal their handbags.

He was identified from CCTV footage.

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During compilation proceedings, the accused had claimed that he had no recollection whatsoever of his alleged wrongdoing since he had acted under the influence of “pills” and had slept for a whole week afterwards.

“I don’t remember a thing,” he had insisted, stressing that he just wished “all this to be over.”

During a sitting on January 20, 2020, he had filed a guilty plea to attempted murder, aggravated theft and being in possession of an unlicensed weapon at the time of the commission of the crime.

He was also accused of relapsing.

Subsequently, after a plea bargaining exercise, the Attorney General and the man’s legal aid lawyer filed a joint application suggesting that the accused be condemned to a 15-year jail term.

Victim says she was physically and emotionally scarred

When the case continued on Monday before the Criminal Court, presided over by Mr Justice Giovanni Grixti, the victim took the witness stand, explaining how the ordeal had left her physically and emotionally scarred.

Not only had she suffered great blood loss and still-visible scaring, but she had temporarily lost her voice and still suffered psychologically, fearing to go out even when abroad.

After the woman had stepped off the witness stand, the judge retired to chambers, returning some minutes later and declaring that, after having heard the victim and her account of the trauma suffered, he did not fully concur with the punishment agreed by the parties, going instead for an 18-year effective jail term.

The court further ordered the accused to pay €7282.06 by way of court expert expenses.

Lawyer Nadia Attard from the AG’s Office prosecuted.

Inspector Saviour Baldacchino had prosecuted at the compilation stage.

Lawyer Marc Sant was legal aid counsel.

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