Man who locked girlfriend up for 3 days given suspended sentence
In a judgment of the July 18, Magistrate Dr Miriam Hayman sentenced David Azzopardi, 23, from Senglea, to one and a half years' imprisonment, suspended for three years, as well as imposing on him a supervision order valid for one and a half years.
Probation Officer Marietta Lanzon, who was put in charge of Mr Azzopardi's supervision, is to report to Court on his progress every two months.
Mr Azzopardi, represented by lawyer Dr Roberto Montalto, has also been ordered to attend anger management courses as well as courses against domestic violence by Sedqa, Appoġġ or any other appropriate entity.
It transpired that Mr Azzopardi used to beat his girlfriend Anne Marie Caruana, who as a result had moved out of their common abode and gone back to her mother's place 17 times, but always moved back in with Mr Azzopardi.
On July 15, 2008, the couple argued once more because Ms Caruana refused to lend Mr Azzopardi any money, for which he beat her up at a bar called Il-Kavall.
Later that day, he beat her up again and locked her in her room at their house. She was left there without food and water and without the possibility of satisfying her bodily needs for three whole days.
On the third day, he opened the door of the room and walked away, only to return with a knife in hand. He put it atop the television and told Ms Caruana he wanted to fix things between them. When she answered to the effect that she was going to leave him no matter what he said, Mr Azzopardi attacked her with the knife and caused her leg injuries, which Court expert Dr Mario Scerri certified as being slight.
The Court, in arriving at its judgment, took into account the grave nature of the crimes. However, it also took account of the offender's fragile mental state, possibly caused by a traumatic childhood and a drug problem with marijuana, according to Probation Officer Lanzon.
Moreover, in her second testimony, Ms Caruana affirmed that she was expecting Mr Azzopardi's child and was going to live with him again.
In this light, Magistrate Hayman saw fit to give Mr Azzopardi the aforementioned sentence, with the aim of not breaking up their family and of trying to steer him onto a righteous path.