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Youths plead guilty to stealing clothing

Four had originally visited Malta to learn English

Four Italian youngsters ended their stay in Malta on an unpleasant note when they landed themselves in court after stealing several items of branded clothing from a Birkirkara store.

Antonio Montuori, 19, Simone Barbaro, 18, Leonardo Tedesco, 18, and a fourth youth whose identity cannot be revealed as he is a minor, all hailing from Nocera and currently residing at a Buġibba hotel, were escorted under arrest to face charges over the theft.

The court heard that the four students originally visited Malta to study English. Having fallen in love with the island, they returned in August, taking up jobs in the catering industry.

The youths had fully cooperated and had even led the officers to the stolen clothes, some of which lay scattered among the vegetation outside the store

Assisted by an interpreter, the young culprits stood side-by-side in the dock, listening and watching attentively as prosecuting officer Inspector Elton Taliana explained the youths’ movements in and out of the store as they tried on different items of branded wear had aroused the suspicion of the shop attendants.

Police officers went to the shop and found the four youngsters in possession of various items of clothing.

The court, presided over by Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, heard how upon coming face to face with the police, the youths had fully cooperated and had even led the officers to the stolen clothes, some of which lay scattered among the vegetation outside the store.

Upon the accused's own admission, the court declared them guilty. In view of the fact that all four accused had filed an early guilty plea, had a clean criminal record, had cooperated fully with the police and had returned all the stolen items, the court condemned each of the three adult offenders to a jail term of 18 months suspended for 30 months. The underage offender was conditionally discharged for 3 years.

Lawyer Patrick Valentino was legal aid.

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