A mother whose repeated reports to the police against her former violent partner were ignored, has been cleared of stabbing him, after a court ruled that she did so in self-defence.
The violent incident happened at her home over three years ago when her former abusive partner forced his way in and tried to rape her, while her son slept in his bed.
When she managed to break free and run to the kitchen, he chased her, pinned her against a cupboard, beat her and punched her face.
That was when she grabbed a kitchen knife.
When delivering judgment, Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo, observed that the woman did not deny having armed herself with a knife when the incident took place.
The police only got to know about the incident after both the alleged victim and the accused went to the health centre for medical treatment.
The landlord who turned up at the apartment to check out any damages to his property shortly after the commotion did not seem to have filed a police report.
The woman had filed several reports about the way she was being harassed by her former partner, but no action appeared to have been taken, observed the court.
Following the violent episode, the man had returned to his ex’s home, seemingly not afraid, in spite of having allegedly been stabbed.
The woman had presented recordings of that occasion when he went back after the stabbing.
When all was considered, the court said it saw no reason not to believe her version, especially since the victim had chosen not to testify.
The evidence showed that this was a case of legitimate self-defence.
The woman was attacked inside her home after being subjected to constant harassment that “broke her”. She had no intention to grievously injure her ex.
At that point, she had no alternative but to try to defend herself and that was when she grabbed the knife, doing so to scare away her aggressor who approached her nonetheless, the court said.
Citing legal doctrine and jurisprudence, the court observed that the right to self-defence stemmed from every person’s right to protect oneself from any aggression or harm even by using force.
In this case, the aggression against her, following an argument started by the victim, was unjustified, grave and inevitable and, consequently, the woman acted in her own defence, concluded the court, pronouncing an acquittal.
Lawyers Stefano Filletti was defence counsel.
Correction January 24, 2023: A previous version stated that the woman faced attempted murder charges. She was acquitted of grievous bodily harm.