Husband beaten up by wife with rolling pin and full kettle, posts bail for aggressor

She pleaded not guilty to charges of using violence, “including moral or psychological violence” to isolate her husband or limit his access to funds, education or employment

A woman residing at St. Paul’s Bay has been granted bail on charges of brutally beating her husband and falsely accusing him of raping her, with her alleged victim stumping up her bail deposit, a move described as “surreal” by the magistrate.

The 36 year-old St. Paul’s Bay resident, who was born in a North African country the media were not allowed to name, was arraigned before magistrate Charmaine Galea by police Inspector Eman Hayman this afternoon. The accused works as a play worker with the Foundation for Educational Services, she told the court.

She pleaded not guilty to charges of using violence, “including moral or psychological violence” to isolate her husband or limit his access to funds, education or employment.

She was also charged with attempting to grievously injure her husband, causing him slight bodily harm, damaging his belongings, insulting or threatening him in excess of the limits of provocation.

The accused was further charged with making a false police report accusing her husband of rape and sexually harassing her whilst knowing that he was innocent.

Hayman told the court that the accused had filed a police report claiming that she had been raped by her husband and had repeated it to a social worker. The case was classified as high risk and the police had immediately gone to the woman’s residence to investigate. “When we spoke to the parte civile, who was covered in wounds, he said that he, too, wanted to make a report.”

The court was told that the house had CCTV installed inside the premises, this strange arrangement being explained as due to the family hosting foreign language students.  Footage from the CCTV inside the house showed no sexual advances by the man, said the inspector, and “18 minutes of continuous abuse, using a rolling pin, a kettle full of hot water and other implements by the accused.”

Parte civile lawyer Dean Hili described the footage as “18 brutal minutes”, in which the victim was pleading with the woman to stop. She was clearly not trustworthy, having gone to the police to file a report after beating the man, Hili added.

“The fact that she falsely accused the victim of an offence which could have resulted in his being jailed for a long time should also be taken into account,” said Hili.

Inspector Hayman told the magistrate that the accused had been given disclosure of the evidence against her, and was therefore aware that her children had given a different version to hers.

Defence lawyer Christian Frendo conceded that it was a “troubled relationship” and alleged that in the past, the parte civile had been charged with serious offences against her. “Coincidentally it was rape” quipped Hili.

The defence lawyer argued that as the incident had been recorded on CCTV there was no risk of the accsued tampering with evidence. “Do you know a regular person who has a CCTV camera inside the kitchen? It is not normal or legal to have it when you are hosting students without their consent,” he added.

Frendo also pointed out that the alleged victim was in the courtroom. “He’s here, despite allegedly having been severely beaten” The evidence was preserved in the CCTV footage, he insisted again, also arguing that the couple’s young children might not want to testify. Hili pointed out that the law made provisions for this eventuality.

Hayman argued that the children’s testimony alone was sufficient reason for the court to refuse bail.

Frendo informed the magistrate that his client had just been released from hospital after an operation. Hili retorted that that before her admission to hospital she had been “healthy enough to beat up” his client.

The magistrate upheld a request for a protection order in favour of the husband. The defence requested bail, but warned that the woman lived with the accused and had nowhere else to stay.

The court pointed out that there was going to be a “big problem” if there was no alternative address.

But the defence insisted that if bail was not granted, she would not be able to find a place to stay because of “stigma,” suggesting that she be allowed to reside in a hotel instead. He asked the court for “a little humanity”.

Hayman argued that the point of his opposition to bail was the risk of tampering with evidence, in particular the couple’s two children.

Hili pointed out that the accused had beaten up the accused for 18 minutes in front of the children, “how can she now argue that she be released in the interest of the children?”

The magistrate postponed the sitting for 10 minutes for the defence to find somewhere for the accused to stay.

Magistrate Vella released the woman on bail. The accused was prohibited from communicating with her husband or children whilst on bail, and was ordered to sign a bail book 3 times a week. A  curfew was also imposed. Up till 28 Jan she would be staying at a St. Paul’s Bay hotel after which she was to inform the prosecution of any changes to her living arrangements after that.

Bail was to be secured by a deposit of €1000 and a personal guarantee of €10,000, decreed the court. As the parties tried to figure out how the woman would pay her deposit, her husband offered to go withdraw the money for her, with the magistrate being heard to comment “this is surreal.”

The court upheld a request for a ban on the publication of the name and nationality of the accused and parte civile, citing the interests of their young children.

Lawyers Christian Frendo and Martha Mifsud were defence counsel.

Lawyer Dean Hili appeared parte civile for the alleged victim.