Youth charged over police station firecracker stunt that injured officer

Young man charged with causing a potentially dangerous explosion and breaching a previous set of bail conditions

Qawra Police Station (File photo)
Qawra Police Station (File photo)

An 18-year-old man has appeared in court accused of throwing a lit firecracker into the Qawra police station last Sunday.

The resulting explosion had slightly injured a police officer who was inside at the time.

18-year-old Marcellino Mamo, an unemployed youth from Birzebbugia, was arraigned under arrest before magistrate Astrid May Grima, accused of violently resisting police officers, threatening and insulting them in the course of their duties, slightly injuring a police sergeant, failing to obey legitimate orders and breaching the peace.

He was also charged with causing a potentially dangerous explosion and breaching a previous set of bail conditions.

Mamo pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Defence lawyer Mario Mifsud requested bail for the accused, with the prosecution objecting to the accused’s release from arrest.

In his submissions on bail, Mifsud argued that although the man was facing seven charges in total, several of them would eventually be absorbed into each other.

He clarified that although the offence in question spoke of “bombs” amongst other pyrotechnics, the explosion in question did not involve a bomb, but a firecracker.

The accused had a clean criminal record and a fixed place of residence, submitted the lawyer, adding that the witnesses identified so far were public officers, not civilians. “At this stage, therefore, I don’t feel that he should be remanded in custody just for the sake of it…we cannot deprive him of bail.”

The prosecution objected, arguing that the man had thrown a firecracker inside the Qawra police station “in a bid to provoke the police. He also disobeyed orders to stop and fled.”

Mifsud suggested that the firecracker had landed in between the front door and inner door, and not inside the police station proper.

The court upheld the request for bail, releasing him from arrest on condition that he sign a bail book every day and observe a curfew. His release from arrest was to be secured by a €1,000 deposit together with a €10,000 personal guarantee.