Obsessed lover in court over threatening SMSs
A Turkish man who remained obsessed with his 16-year-old Maltese girlfriend and sent threatening text messages when she broke up with him was given a suspended sentence yesterday for having sex with the minor.
Umit Kartal, 32, ended up in court yesterday after the girl’s mother filed a police report, worried because her daughter was receiving threatening messages from Mr Kartal.
“I don’t want him to go to prison. I just want him to get on with his life and leave us get on with ours,” the mother told Magistrate Marse-Ann Farrugia.
Mr Kartal pleaded guilty to having sex with the girl, whose details cannot be published because she is a minor, threatening to use violence against her and harassing her.
He also pleaded guilty to committing an offence against public decency when he had sex with the girl in a car.
The mother said she was in the dark about the relationship when she filed the police report. “I made the report but I didn’t know what had happened. My daughter just showed me the messages on her mobile phone,” she said.
In the messages, Mr Kartal threatened his ex-girlfriend and her family, telling her he would not give up and would follow her everywhere.
The mother asked her daughter to call Mr Kartal and then spoke to him herself. “I told him to stop sending these messages and threatened to go to the police. He said he would not contact her anymore,” she said.
But on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve, Mr Kartal texted her daughter again, messages she ignored because she thought he was drunk. But when he texted again on New Year’s Day and called her daughter from a privately listed number, she filed the report.
The woman appealed to Magistrate Farrugia not to jail him.
“They both saw each other and now they cannot go back. I have accepted what happened and now I’ll move on as they both made mistakes. I don’t want him to go to prison but I want him to go on with his life and to leave us alone,” she said.
Defence lawyer Josè Herrera argued that the vast majority of young people aged between 16 and 18 years “indulged” in sexual activities and pointed out he had been pushing for the legal age of consent to be lowered from the present 18 years.
He warned the police would have hundreds of arraignments a month on their hands if they had to charge all teenagers caught having sex in public places.
The court handed down a two-year jail term suspended for four and ordered Mr Kartal not to approach the family’s residence and the girl’s school for six months. He was also ordered not to approach or contact the family in any way for three years.
Police Inspectors Louise Calleja and Carlos Cordina prosecuted.
Lawyer Veronique Dalli also appeared for Mr Kartal.