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Magistrate says punishment for harassment, fear of violence should be brought in line

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A man from Fgura has pleaded guilty to harassing his girlfriend and causing her to fear violence would be used against her.

The 25 year-old, whose name is being withheld at the order of the court, admitted to the charges before magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech earlier today.

The Magistrate drew the legislator’s attention to an inconsistency in the law. When the Istanbul convention (The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence) was introduced into Maltese law, the sections of the law dealing with harassment were amended, but not those of causing others to fear violence.

Harassment was punished more harshly than causing others to fear violence, pointed out the court. The former carried up to two years imprisonment and a €10,000 fine, the latter up to 6 months and a fine of €11,600.

The time had come for the punishment for the two crimes to be brought in line, said the magistrate.

The man was released on bail until a presentencing report could be drawn up, against a deposit of €3,000 and a personal guarantee of €7,000, as well as being placed under a curfew.

Inspector Melvyn Camilleri prosecuted. Lawyers Alfred Abela and Keith Borg were defence counsel.  

Original article found on The Malta Independent

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