Magistrate rebukes police for overdoing arrest of a mother
A magistrate yesterday rebuked the police for having sent six officers to arrest a 46-year-old woman after she failed to appear in court.
This was an example of how an arrest should not be carried out, Magistrate Anthony Vella said, even as he reprimanded the woman who was charged with resisting the police.
Rose Parnis, of Naxxar, failed to appear in a court case presided over by Magistrate Silvio Meli, in 2009. The magistrate issued a warrant of accompaniment, meaning that at the next sitting she would have to be brought to court by a court usher.
On the day in question, October 7, 2009, three police officers were sent to execute a warrant of arrest, which prompted Magistrate Vella to remark yesterday he could only presume this had happened because of a mistake as a result of the big workload in the courts.
Ms Parnis called her lawyer, refusing to accompany the officers and resisting arrest. At this point, Magistrate Vella heard, another three policemen arrived.
The woman’s son got involved and the woman protested and physically resisted the policemen when they were arresting him.
Magistrate Vella said Ms Parnis certainly did not have an extensive criminal record which merited six officers going to arrest her.
He could not understand why such force was used to execute the warrant. It was an example, he said, of how an arrest should not be carried out.
On the other hand, it was never acceptable, no matter how minimum the resistance was, to defy the police in that manner. But he could also understand Ms Parnis was trying to prevent her son from being arrested, he said.
In handing down judgment, Magistrate Vella said the incident could have easily been avoided if the police had used a little more diplomacy and not blown the case out of proportion. He said a reprimand and admonition should be a sufficient punishment for the woman in this case. Lawyer Joe Mifsud appeared for Ms Parnis.