Suspended jail term for boxer shorts Qormi robber
A drug addict who carried out a hold-up on a lotto office run by the mother of “Batman”, a Żebbuġ hairdresser hailed a hero after he helped capture another alleged criminal, was yesterday given a suspended jail term.
Father of three Steve Azzopardi, 29, of Qormi, pleaded guilty to stealing €20 from Antoinette Parascandalo, 57, on Wednesday after he entered the lotto booth in Victory Street, Qormi where she works at about 1.45 p.m. wearing boxer shorts on his head and demanding money.
Mrs Parascandalo handed over €10 but Mr Azzopardi asked her for another €10. She gave him the money and he walked out, Police Inspector Chris Pullicino said during the arraignment.
Mr Azzopardi was holding a plastic gun, which he had painted black and then burnt in a field, the officer said.
Defence lawyer Steve Tonna Lowell told the court that although the crime was serious, the amount taken was small and his client did not mean to hurt anyone. This was evident by the fact the gun he was carrying was made of plastic. Furthermore, he only took €20 when there was a far larger amount as cash.
The lawyer also noted his client was addicted to drugs.
Inspector Pullicino told the court that, regardless of how small the amount of money was, the crime was very serious and the law did not differentiate between a false gun and a real one.
After taking into consideration the circumstances of the case, Magistrate Anthony Vella handed down a two-year jail term suspended for three.
Mrs Parascandalo’s son Patrizio, 31, was nicknamed Batman by his wife after a hooded man walked into his salon and held customers and a 12-year-old son at gunpoint last week.
A 54-year-old man appeared in court on Sunday and was charged with five hold-ups, including the one on the hairdresser. He pleaded not guilty.