Saturday, 14 April 2012

Independent: Court: Accused said he did not mind beating up a woman - witness
12 April 2012 

One of two young men allegedly involved in a fracas with a gay couple told one of the girls that he did not at all mind beating a woman. He had earlier called the two young women lesbians, when he was in a balcony with members of his family, and one of the girls called him a pufta.

The compilation of evidence in the case is being heard by Magistrate Joseph Apap Bologna. The fight occurred in Guardamangia between two girls (the couple) aged 17 and 16 years, and two young men, aged 17 and 15 years. A 35 year old woman is also facing charges.

The fight occurred on 13 January at about 7.30pm, ending with one of the girls being injured in the face.

At the start of the sitting Magistrate Apap Bologna asked the 35-year-old woman if she had brought a certificate with her in connection with her absence from the previous sitting, and to explain why yesterday she was also late arriving in court. The woman said she had forgotten to bring the certificate and she had been late because it had taken her time to find where to park. She apologised to the court and was told she had to bring the certificate with her at the next sitting, and if she did not she could be found guilty of contempt of court.

Diandra Sue Vella testified that on the day they were in a gazebo not far from the Nationalist Party's headquarters. She and a friend, Chantelle Baldacchino, were dancing to music being played on a mobile phone.

They were in the company of the two accused girls, who were sitting inside the gazebo.

Ms Vella said that two young men, a woman and a young woman were in a balcony close by, and someone from the balcony called the girls sitting inside the gazebo lesbians. She did not know who had called out, but it was definitely a male voice. One of the girls answered back by uttering the word pufta.

Ms Vella testified that a short time later one of the young men came down and he told one of the girls he did not mind beating up a woman and making her a laughing stock. The young man hit out at the girl's face.

This led to a fight and the two involved in a tussle, with the other girl joining in and all ending beside a dustbin after falling down some steps. At this time, Ms Vella testified, the other members of the family came down from the balcony. The other man did not touch her friends and shortly afterwards the police came on the scene.

Charlette Baldacchino confirmed Ms Vella's testimony.

Nikita Aquilina, daughter of one of the accused, said one of the young men involved is her boyfriend. She had not seen everything, she had only seen two young women dancing and two others sitting down. Her boyfriend was involved in a dispute, and that was all. She had not seen her boyfriend's friend, one of the accused, in the area.

Darlene Aquilina, who was also in the balcony, confirmed this. She had stayed there to smoke a cigarette, and that was it. One of the young men was not even present.

The mother of one of the girls who had been called lesbians testified that her daughter had telephoned her and told her she had been headbutted by a young man when she was in a gazebo. The young girl started crying and asked her mother to call for her. The mother testified that she drove from Pembroke to the scene in 10 minutes, finding her daughter with her face covered in blood, which was coming out of her mouth and nose.

The mother said the police were already on the scene and she immediately took her daughter to Floriana health centre, from where she was sent to Mater Dei Hospital for fear that her nose could be fractured. She displayed in court seven photographs of her daughter's bloodied face.

Emergency doctor Carlo Refalo said the young woman was slightly injured in her face and had a swelling in one of her cheeks and another near her nose.

The prosecution is being conducted by Supt Charles Magri; Dr Cedrid Mifsud is defending the two young women, and Dr Michael Sciriha and Dr Lucio Sciriha are appearing for the two young men and the woman.

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