A Somali man who tried to bite a police officer on the way to the police station was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.
On 3 December last year, the Police received a phone call informing them of a Somali man, Abdiqani Omar Abdillahi, threatening another man at Popeye Snack Bar in Marsalforn.
The victim, Redeemer Abdel Ghany, claimed that the defendant, drunk and disorderly, had taken out a knife and put it against Ghany’s chest seven times.
In court, police officers Frank Portelli, Joseph Cini, Joseph Bajada and Mario Azzopardi testified.
“On the way to the police station, Abdillahi exhibited aggression the likes of which I had never seen before,” Portelli said, adding that the Somali man tried to bite one of the officers in the car.
Abdillahi even threatened to kill the police officers one by one. He had been so aggressive that the officers admitted to using a taser gun.
At the police station, Abdillahi threw up in the hallway and continued to be aggressive. The police officers claim that the defendant told them to “fuck off” multiple times.
The court, presided over by Magistrate Joseph Mifsud, noted that at the time Abdillahi was in a state of inebriation. “Alcohol is a substance socially accepted in diverse cultures, Malta included. Still, one of the dangers of this substance is that a drunk individual is not usually aware of when to stop.”
The court heard how the defendant took out a knife and pointed it at another man’s chest before acting aggressively towards the police.
The court ruled, however, that Abdillahi had been drunk of his own accord and had never been in such a state as to not remember what he had done, not to mention that he had been in possession of a knife.
The court decided that the police’s use of the taser gun was justified—“the law authorises the police to use proportionate force to make sure that they return to their families safe and sound after work,” the court said, adding that a police order should be obeyed immediately.
“It’s important that the court doesn’t pass on the message that just because someone’s drunk, that person can get away with risking other people’s lives,” the court insisted.
Abdillahi was sentenced to one-year imprisonment and ordered to pay a fine of €2000.
Inspector Bernard Charles Spiteri prosecuted.