A man allegedly caught with drugs while on bail over a separate drugs case has benefitted from a new law giving the court discretion to decide whether to forfeit the entire bail bond.

In line with the new law, introduced earlier this month, it is up to the courts dealing with cases of breach of bail to decide on whether to seize the entire bail bond or just a part of it. Previously, any breach of bail would have made the forfeiture of the bail guarantee automatic, even for minor infringements, as well as the person’s immediate re-arrest.

Ryan Falzon, 22, from Qormi, was stopped in a police roadblock last week after officers realised he was outdoors in breach of a court-imposed curfew. Cocaine was also found hidden in his shoe. He had been granted bail after being charged with selling cocaine to a 17-year-old in Paceville in 2019.

Magistrate Gabriella Vella noted that Falzon had pleaded guilty to the charges and that the amount of drugs found in his possession was small.

Prosecution did not insist on re-arrest but requested that part of the bail deposit ought to be seized

The court also heard that the prosecution was not insisting on re-arrest but requested that part of the man’s bail deposit ought to be seized.

The court found Falzon guilty of cocaine possession and breaching his bail conditions, sentencing him to probation for two years and ordering the forfeiture of €100 from his €500 bail deposit. This is among the first cases where the new provision was applied.

Police Inspector Jonathan Ransley prosecuted.

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

Falzon had been arrested in November 2019 when officers patrolling the Dragonara Road area had spotted the suspect handing over a small tub to a third party. This container was later found to have suspected cannabis grass. His home was searched and the police found two sachets of cocaine and four sachets of cannabis grass totalling some 100 grams.

On that same night, the police had arrested a 17-year old clubber who had allegedly indicated Falzon as the man who had sold him cocaine.

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