Man admits breaking into parked cars 'to drive himself home'

Sober, repentant accused has to pay for the damages

A young man’s bid to break into two parked cars to drive himself home landed him with a suspended jail term after he admitted his wrongdoing and bound himself to make good for the damage caused.

Sweden-born Timmie Silverstranden, 29, residing at Qormi and working in catering, had apparently had too much to drink on Wednesday evening and, close to midnight, broke into a Ford Ka parked along the Sliema seafront and tried to start up the engine.

Failing in his attempt, the man directed his efforts to a second car, a Peugeot 106, which he again tried to get going, only to be thwarted in his efforts by the arrival of the police.

The culprit had apparently insisted he had merely wanted to drive himself home.

It was a sober and repentant man who appeared in court on Friday, escorted under arrest and pleading guilty to two instances of attempted theft, involuntary damage to third party property and being drunk in public at the time of the incident.

The owner of the Peugeot had suffered some €750 in damages, while the damages to the Ford Ka were still to be determined.

“Do you understand that the court may impose a prison term?” duty magistrate Monica Vella asked, to which the man replied in the affirmative, nodding in understanding.

In view of the man’s early guilty plea, his clean criminal record and his will to make good the damage caused, the court gave him a two-year jail term suspended for four years and bound him to settle the damages within six months, in monthly installments.

Inspector Bernardette Valletta prosecuted. Lawyer Yanika Bugeja was legal aid counsel.