Woman ‘beaten repeatedly’ while locked up for 10 hours
Woman recounts harrowing ordeal
A 23-year-old woman who admitted stabbing her boyfriend on Christmas Day yesterday recounted a horrific 10-hour ordeal she had gone through a week earlier in which the man beat her repeatedly and savagely.
Alicia Spiteri said Sean Grima locked her in the bedroom of the Fgura flat they shared and for 10 hours he would beat her, leave and return to beat her again and grab her by the throat, over and over, eventually bursting her left eardrum.
The couple have two daughters together aged five and two.
Two graphic photos exhibited in court yesterday showed heavy bruising on her neck which formed in horizontal lines as well as bruising below her left eye.
The pictures were taken by the woman’s mother the day after the ordeal. A week later, Ms Spiteri said, she was savagely beaten again at the flat. This time, however, she fought back and stabbed Mr Grima, 26, in the shoulder with the same knife he was threatening her with.
The young woman was testifying in the compilation of evidence against Mr Grima, who is pleading not guilty to injuring her grievously in the attack.
Ms Spiteri said that on the day of the first attack, on December 17, she had just returned home after cleaning her grandmother’s house when her partner quite literally interrogated her, insisting that she had been with another man.
She denied it but he quickly became aggressive and grabbed her by the throat. He took her to the bedroom where he beat her up and kept her for 10 long hours, she said.
At one point, she tried to escape by telling Mr Grima that there was a gun on the roof that needed to be removed. He unlocked the door and walked up the steps with her but she managed to get away from him and even knocked on a neighbour’s door.
She signalled to the neighbour to let her in and leave him outside but the woman refused and he caught up with her, dragging her back down to the bedroom, she said.
Then Mr Grima asked her mother to come to the flat to extract a confession of infidelity from her daughter. The mother did go but called the police straightaway.
When the officers arrived, Mr Grima refused to open the door and made his girlfriend walk out onto the balcony to tell the officers that everything was fine but the police insisted on coming in.
Eventually, Superintendent Sharon Tanti was allowed in. She spoke to both of them for an hour and a half, Ms Spiteri said.
The police offered to escort her out or have Mr Grima removed but she turned down the offer, reasoning that she was already in such a bad state that he would not lay a hand on her again.
She went to the polyclinic and then to her parents where she stayed with the children until Christmas Eve, when Mr Grima turned up at the house asking to talk things over.
She was in her pyjamas and he demanded that she get dressed and leave the house. When she refused, Ms Spiteri said, he followed her up the front steps before she realised it and entered the house.
As her mother called the police, he grabbed their two-year-old daughter and fled back to their flat. He then called her incessantly all night until he gave her an ultimatum: If she wanted their daughter back, she would have to go and get her.
She said that call was followed by another in which she heard her daughter crying and was told she was hungry. When Ms Spiteri told him there were chicken nuggets in the freezer, he told her he would not lift a finger and she would have to do the cooking herself.
At that point Ms Spiteri called a police inspector, who told her that if she was feeling afraid she should not go to the flat even though, given that the father was a legal guardian, the police could do little about the situation.
The next day, Christmas Day, she went to the flat and took her five-year-old daughter with her because he had insisted she did so.
She told the court that when she walked into the flat she noticed he was injecting cocaine. She started cooking and things appeared calm for some time but he became increasingly paranoid and started looking at her in a “scary way”.
At that point she realised something was going to happen and she called her parents. But he pushed the furniture up against the door and refused to let her leave.
As he pulled her by the hair and arms towards the bedroom, holding a penknife, she tried to make a dash for the balcony but he stopped her and pulled her back.
By this time her parents had arrived at the front door and she pleaded with him to let her go. It was at this point that she managed to grab hold of the knife and stab him with it in the shoulder, she testified.
He rushed out into the street and her father grabbed the children. As she fled the building she saw him in the street and ran in the direction of her parents’ house.
In a panic she stopped a car driven by a stranger and jumped in but the startled woman driver told her to get out. She then saw her mother in another car behind and got into that.
The case continues.
Lawyers Gianella Caruana Curran and Joseph Giglio appeared for Ms Spiteri.
Lawyer John Bonello appeared for the accused.