Court of appeal revokes conditional discharge and imprisons man for 12 months over revenge attack.
Thursday 4 July 2013 - 15:09by Chris Mangion
Alan Gauci, 37, of Mellieha, has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, after the court of appeal revoked a previous three-year conditional discharge sentence.
Magistrate Carol Peralta had heard how Gauci ran over Australian national Jeremy Lalic after the victim had called him 'gay'.
The exchange began at 4.30 am, inside Zep's Bar in Mellieha. When 40 minutes later Gauci saw the Australian man, he hit him with his car.
In 2004, Magistrate Peralta had given Gauci a three-year conditional discharge.
The convicted had explained to the Magistrate how whilst driving home he had thought the Australian deserved to be ran over. "Anger was boiling up inside me, and when I saw him again I ran him over," he had said.
During the incident, Lalic had insulted various patrons and made gestures meant to imply that Gauci was homosexual.
In delivering the appeal decision, Justice Michael Mallia said the convicted had enough time to ponder his decisions. "For 40 minutes he kept thinking of how to make Lalic pay for his insult rather than calm down," he said.
The charges filed against Gauci entailed a prison term between nine months and nine years. However, in its decision the court of magistrate had taken into consideration the social mentality of Mellieha residents.
The court of magistrates had said since Gauci was a resident of Mellieha and the incident occurred in Mellieha, the accused believed he had a reputation to uphold. The insinuation that he was gay did not go down well and Gauci believed other patrons did not deem homosexuality as acceptable.