‘I am too tired to go out’, Gera told his manager
Nicholas Gera had told the restaurant manager where he was employed that he was too tired to go to a party after work, just hours before being involved in a fatal stabbing with another man, The Times has learnt.
A manager at Shiva’s Indian restaurant in Paceville, where Mr Gera was working as a waiter on New Year’s Eve, yesterday said he had asked the young man whether he was going to a party after work.
“Nicholas told me ‘no because I am too tired’,” the manager said, adding that Mr Gera was the last one to leave the place at 3 a.m. accompanied by an Indian chef.
As he normally did, Mr Gera gave the chef a lift home to George Borg Olivier Street in Sliema, which is very close to the Gera residence and to the apartment where the stabbings took place.
The police are still trying to establish how Mr Gera ended up in the penthouse of Claire Zammit Xuereb and her husband Duncan Zammit in High Street, Sliema, where the bodies of Mr Gera and Mr Zammit were found.
It is unclear whether, after dropping off his colleague, Mr Gera went back to his mother’s apartment where he lived in Blanche Huber Street. The car – which Mr Gera’s mother had lent him – was found parked in this street.
Eyewitnesses saw Mr Gera enter Muddy Waters bar in St Julians at about 4.45 a.m., leaving an unexplained gap between the time he left the restaurant and the time he went to the pub.
Another intriguing aspect is the fact that Mr Gera is reported to have entered Muddy Waters “already livid” and “worked up” to the point that he even smashed a glass on the floor.
However, the Indian restaurant manager said Mr Gera appeared his usual “polite and shy” self while still at work. Describing Mr Gera as “a very nice and gentle man”, the manager said that during a small staff party that started at about 2.30 a.m. Mr Gera only took one drink. “He was not drunk at all.”
This indicates that something might have happened between 3 and 4.45 a.m. to trigger Mr Gera’s anger.
The manager, who first met Mr Gera in 2005 while working at the same restaurant, also excluded that Mr Gera met somebody outside the workplace or was involved in a phone conversation at any time while still on site.
Additional reporting by Fiona Galea Debono.