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Jewellery thief jailed for two years

Ordered to attend a drug rehab programme

A woman who admitted to stealing thousands of euros worth of jewellery from two stores in Valletta and Floriana has been jailed for two years.

Alexia Margo Calleja, a 40-year old who told the court she has no roof over her head and struggles with drug addiction, was also ordered by Magistrate Joe Mifsud to complete a drug rehabilitation programme.

“The court cannot continue giving you opportunities to change your way of life. You need help but you have to be the first person to pull up your sleeves and work towards kicking this habit,” the magistrate told the woman on Monday morning.

She admitted to having committed the aggravated thefts which took place over the past weeks to the detriment of Diamonds International and Victor Azzopardi Jewellers. She was further charged with relapsing.

She targeted the Diamonds International store in July and robbed the other jewellery shop in Floriana earlier this month, a court heard. The value of the items she stole reportedly totalled some €20,000.

The court heard how the woman has battled her drug addiction for 10 years and had nowhere to live. She told the court she stole to finance her habit but the court said it would not tolerate this.

“You have no right to steal other people’s things in an attempt to solve your financial trouble or to satisfy your drug addiction. Being a drug addict is no justification for stealing. You can kick the habit if you work for it, start a programme and complete it,” the magistrate said.

Last Saturday during the arraignment, Magistrate Mifsud had told the woman she could accept help or else end up on the streets following an overdose.
Inspectors Daryl Borg and Alfredo Mangion prosecuted.

Lawyer Noel Cutajar was legal aid counsel.

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