A 20-year old father was granted bail on Tuesday after having been accused of assaulting his pregnant former partner on Monday.

The incident allegedly broke out at around 6pm when the couple were involved in an argument over access to their 18-month old daughter.

The man allegedly pulled the woman by the hair, dragging her in front of their child. The episode took place at the home of the accused’s mother, who witnessed it all, but allegedly failed to restrain the young man.

“My client is not a punching bag,” lawyer Edward Gatt,  who appeared for the victim, remarked. “Not only is the accused quick to strike, but his mother did not help either. This was brought about by the accused who ought to know better. Domestic violence is a reprehensible crime.”

Prosecuting Inspector Roderick Agius explained how there had allegedly been similar incidents in the past.

Appoġġ officers had assessed the situation, gauging the woman’s condition as being one of ‘high risk’ whilst concluding that the man’s risk was ‘very low.’

The man was arrested and charged with having slightly injured and threatened his ex. He pleaded not guilty.  

During the proceedings, Magistrate Aaron Bugeja called the accused's mother and before asking her to leave the courtroom, so as not to compromise her position as a possible future witness, warned her to calm down and “bite her tongue” if she truly loved her son.

“Right now, in the heat of the moment, you might say many things you’ll regret later on,” advised the Magistrate, after being told by Dr Gatt had, earlier int he day,  called her son’s ex, warning her to place a policeman on guard outside her home since she would cause trouble once the court hearing was over.

Once the woman was outside, the hearing proceeded with a request for bail by defence lawyer Yanika Bugeja. The prosecution objected and argued that there was a real fear of tampering with evidence since the injured party was still to testify.

Dr Bugeja said that although the accused’s mother had caused problems, the person facing prosecution was her son.

After a brief suspension of the hearing, Magistrate Bugeja summoned back the accused’s mother, asking her whether she was willing to step in as guarantor for her son’s release from arrest, explaining the full import of her undertaking. 

The court upheld the request for bail against a deposit of €1,000, a personal guarantee of €4,000 and a third party guarantee of €5,000.

The accused was ordered to sign the bail book on a daily basis, to abide by a curfew and not to lay foot at his ex’s hometown.

He was further placed under a Temporary Supervision Order and a Protection Order which limited his contact with his ex to the “minimal” degree necessary for access to his daughter as regulated by the Family Court.