A man was found not guilty of involuntarily injuring two strangers who butted in while he was having a heated argument with his girlfriend - and ended up smashing his car.
Lydon Xerri face criminal prosecution following the incident in the car park of a commercial establishment at Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq in the early hours one February morning back in 2015.
The accused and his girlfriend had been having a lovers’ argument inside his car, parked inside the parking area, when a stranger had suddenly flung open the passenger door at his girlfriend’s side.
The man was told to mind his own business as Mr Xerri hit the gas pedal and manoeuvred his vehicle towards the exit point, only to find his path blocked by road works.
Just as he was reversing to seek an alternative way out, another stranger flung himself onto the bonnet, banging his fists on the metal work and even smashing the windscreen in the onslaught.
A third-party who had witnessed the whole scene later recounted the episode to a police sergeant, who repeated the facts when testifying in court.
The driver was charged with having allegedly caused involuntary grievous bodily harm to the two men, involuntary damage to third party property and also with having breached a conditional discharge.
When assessing the evidence put forward by the prosecution, magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech observed that neither of the two alleged victims had testified, one having passed away since the incident and the other choosing not to do so on account of ongoing proceedings in his regard over the same incident.
The court observed that, according to the records of the case, the alleged victims had only gone to file a report at the Birkarkara police station 14 hours after the incident. Moreover, it was only upon the advice of the police that they sought medical help, which they did the day after filing the police report.
“Any ulterior remarks would be superfluous,” the court observed, pointing out that the accused’s version, confirmed under oath, had also been corroborated, unlike that supplied by the alleged victims which had been lacking in ‘rightfulness and logic.’
Nor had the third party eye witness been summoned to testify, the court remarked, concluding that upon such evidence it could only pronounce an acquittal.