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Man's efforts to mend his ways acknowledged by the courts

'He deserves another chance'

A man’s efforts to distance himself from his criminal past were acknowledged by a Court of Appeal today which converted his six-month prison sentence into a two-year probation.

Ludwig Cassar had landed the conviction last year for an offence committed in 2009 when he had assaulted police officers who approached him inside Footloose bar in Paceville and asked him to stop smoking

Once outside, the accused had thrown away the cigarette, swore at the police officers and violently resisted arrest. In the scuffle that followed he damaged the officers' uniforms and threatened to "find them one by one".

The court of appeal, presided by Mr Justice Giovanni Griscti, held that the six month punishment was within the legal limits and in fact had been kept to a minimum considering the gravity of the offence committed.

The court also noted that that the behaviour of the accused at the time of the offence had been truly condemnable since he ought to have apologised to the officers rather than assault them. “The appellant should count himself lucky that he hadn't been condemned to a harsher punishment by the court of first instance, in view of his criminal record," the court remarked.

However, noting that the accused had kept a clean sheet between 2009 when the assault took place and 2015 when the judgment was delivered, the court concluded that the man deserved another chance. Even his current full-time employer stepped forward to confirm that the accused had truly improved his ways.

The court, while confirming the conviction, converted the prison sentence to a two-year probation period in view of the accused's proven efforts to mend his ways.

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