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Feisty beggar jailed over €1

He swung a punch after being turned away in St Julian's

The man did not take kindly to being denied €1. Photo: Shutterstock

The man did not take kindly to being denied €1. Photo: Shutterstock

A penniless man who punched a man after he refused to hand over €1 has landed a two-month jail term.

Mustaf Biihi Abdi, a 33-year old Somali national, currently having no fixed residence in Malta, was arrested yesterday after the incident which took place at around 5.30pm in St. George’s Road, St. Julian’s.

Mr Abdi allegedly walked up to a man he spotted and asked for €1, saying he should be generous to a fellow African. When the other man turned down the request, Mr Abdi reacted violently, swinging a punch at the victim.

“This is the law of the jungle. Such behaviour must stop,” prosecuting inspector Trevor Micallef sternly observed.

The culprit, standing in the dock and assisted by two interpreters, listened silently as the court took note of the charges which included those of having inflicted involuntary slight injuries upon the victim, begging, breaching the peace and leading an idle and vagrant life. He was further charged with relapsing.

Defence lawyer Leontine Calleja argued that most of the charges involved contraventions and moreover, the accused was not to shoulder the blame for all other similar wrongdoing.

However, the prosecution was quick to counter that the man had punched the victim just because the latter refused to hand over money, and therefore insisted upon an effective jail term.

In the light of such evidence, magistrate Josette Demicoli declared the accused guilty and handed him a two-month jail term, whilst imposing a one-year personal guarantee against a €1,000 penalty warning him to steer clear of any further trouble.

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