Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012, 07:04
A 36 year old man from Mellieha was let off lightly by the court when he was charged in knocking down an Australian and causing him permanent disability after he implied he was gay. The court accepted the prosecution’s viewpoint that the incident happened because the Mellieha man felt provoked. The court also accepted that the Mellieha man felt insulted because of the village homophobic mentality.
Although he was found guilty of all the charges brought against him the court gave him a suspended sentence for three years.
The incident happened in the early hours of 21 March 2004 in front of the Mellieha police station after Australian Jeremy Lalic made fun of the man from Mellieha at Zep’s Bar in Mellieha Bay and implied he was gay and that he had wanted to sleep with him.
Lalic had been found with a high level of alcohol when he was taken to Mater Dei Hospital after the incident. Lalic and his friend had been told to leave Zep’s Bar because they were very noisy and annoying people.
After Lalic left the bar a British tourist told the man from Mellieha that Lalic had poked fun at him and implied he was gay. He left the bar and drove towards Mellieha angry at Lalic and determined to knock him down if he met. He in fact caught up with him in the village in front of the police station and drove into him.
He had driven home and repaired the mirror on the left hand side of his car after he damaged it when he hit Lalic.
The court said that in a village like Mellieha it is not very acceptable to be considered gay and a man being called gay has to defend his reputation even if there is nothing wrong with being gay.