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Drives over central strip, but puncture lands fleeing driver in police hands

Cannabis and prohibited weapons inside the woman’s car

A young driver who attempted a movie-like manoeuvre to escape a police encounter on Thursday, only to be let down by a punctured tyre, was granted bail upon her arraignment on Saturday.

Naomi Tanti, 24, from Mosta, had been driving through Naxxar when she was approached by officers from the Drug Squad.

Upon sensing their presence, the woman attempted to flee the scene by driving over the central strip, ending up on the wrong side of the road.

However, her bid to escape was foiled by a punctured tyre which soon enabled the police to arrest her. A search revealed cannabis and prohibited weapons inside the woman’s car.

The woman was arraigned and charges of simple possession of cannabis, resisting arrest, disobeying legitimate orders, driving dangerously, going against a no-entry sign and possessing a pointed weapon without the necessary police licence.

She was also charged with possessing a prohibited butterfly knife and with breaching bail conditions.

The woman’s defence counsel requested bail, arguing that according to the European Court the main purpose of bail was to ensure that the accused is present in court during proceedings.

For the past two years, their client had always appeared in court in relation to separate proceedings and had always abided by court orders, the defence team argued.

Moreover, there was no real risk of tampering with evidence since all the witnesses were police officers.

In the light of these submissions, duty magistrate Ian Farrugia upheld the request, against a deposit of €5,000 and a personal guarantee of €5,000.

Inspector Anthony Scerri prosecuted.

Lawyers Alfred Abela, Arthur Azzopardi and Rene Darmanin appeared for the defendant.

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