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MaltaToday 22 February 2023 MIDWEEK

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2 NEWS maltatoday | WEDNESDAY • 22 FEBRUARY 2023 2 MATTHEW AGIUS A hammer attack that left a woman seriously injured has earned her as- sailant a four-year prison sentence. Charlene Gatt, 37 from St. Paul's Bay, was jailed for four years and four months after being found guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm in the attack which took place on 28 November 2018 in Triq i-Cern, St. Paul's Bay. During the compilation pro- ceedings against Gatt, Magistrate Marse-Ann Farrugia had heard witnesses testify to how the Qawra Police Station had received a call re- porting a fight in the area that day. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the victim sitting inside a parked car, her face and hands cov- ered in blood. The victim told the police that she had been parking her car after pick- ing up her son and his friend from school, when Gatt came out of her house and approached the vehicle, holding a hammer in her hand. Gatt opened the back door and attempt- ed to drag the six-year-old child out, she said. The victim said that she had somehow managed to close the door, before Gatt hit her on the back with the hammer, punched her in the face, bit her, pulled her hair and spat in her face. While testifying in court, the vic- tim said Gatt had been trying to kid- nap her son, and described how she had wrested the metal hammer - a meat tenderiser, from Gatt's hands. When she had asked the defendant why she was attacking her, she re- called Gatt as replying "that's what I want to do, because you take pleas- ure in other people's misfortune." The victim denied ever harassing the defendant, adding that Gatt had damaged her car a month before the assault, for no good reason. De- spite her having filed a police report about that incident, no action had been taken against the defendant, she said. A medical doctor who had treated the victim on the day of the attack had certified her as having suffered a laceration to her face, near her left eye, a penetrating bite mark on the palm of her hand, as well as abra- sions. These were confirmed by a court-appointed medico-legal ex- pert who classified them as grievous in nature, although not permanent. On her part, Gatt had exercised her right to silence during question- ing. The court noted that despite it having given her several opportuni- ties to submit her evidence, she had failed to do so. Having seen the evidence before it, the court said that it had no rea- son to doubt the veracity of the vic- tim's testimony, or of the version of events that she had described in court. Besides grievous bodily harm, Gatt was also found guilty of insulting or threatening the woman, breaching the peace, using the hammer as a weapon against the victim, breach- ing a probation order and recidi- vism. The court observed that the de- fendant had no less than twenty previous convictions, including several for prostitution-related of- fences, as well as fraud and several breaches of probation orders and bail conditions. It also noted that Gatt had not changed her ways despite having been given several chances to do so by the courts, having been released on bail on six occasions, as well as having been handed three proba- tion orders and two suspended sen- tences. A probation officer who had been assigned to the woman after her ar- raignment, as part of a temporary supervision order, had informed the court that the defendant had not co- operated. Magistrate Farrugia noted that Gatt, who is currently already serv- ing a prison sentence in connection with a separate violent incident which left another person serious- ly injured, had attacked the victim "without the slightest provocation," sentencing her to four years in pris- on as well as another four months for breaching her probation order. Inspector Godwin Scerri prosecut- ed. Woman jailed over 2018 hammer attack on neighbour A car thief will be sentenced next week after he pleaded guilty to steal- ing a classic car and furniture from a residence, as well as stealing three other vehicles from a showroom. Abdulsalam Salem Ben Hamed, 50, from Libya was arraigned on Mon- day evening before magistrate Gabri- ella Vella, accused of the aggravated theft of furniture and a Morris Minor from a villa in Msida in January. Ben Hamed was also charged with the aggravated theft of three cars from a showroom in Hamrun, in February. The man pleaded guilty to these charges, and others relating to breaching a probation order and re- cidivism. Presiding Magistrate Gabriella Vella will be sentencing the man on February 27. He will be remanded in custody in the interim. Inspector Jeffrey Scicluna prosecut- ed. Lawyer Josette Sultana was defence counsel. Thief pleads guilty to stealing classic Morris Minor and three other cars A public consultation on proposed amendments to the law which regulates minimum health and safety requirements on construction sites was launched on Tuesday by the Plan- ning Ministry and the Occupational Health and Safety Au- thority. The proposals, amending the Legal Notice 88 of 2018, will give project supervisors all the necessary powers at con- struction sites "to fulfil their responsibilities." In a statement, the ministry explained anyone undertaking a development or construction project will be obligated to appoint a project supervisor to oversee the design and exe- cution of the project. A new non-liability clause is being added so no civil action or other proceedings for damages may be instituted by duty holders against these project supervisors for an act done in pursuance of the regulations unless the project supervisor acted in a negligent manner. Additionally, the roles and responsibilities of contractors, self-employed persons and workers are being better ex- plained for added clarity, the Ministry said. A copy of the proposed amendments can be found on the OHSA's website. Any person or entity who wishes to make any comments on the proposed prescribed rules is invited to do so by con- tacting the OHSA at 17 Edgar Ferro Street, Pieta' PTA 1533 or by email at The deadline for submissions is the 30th of March 2023. Ministry launches consultation on proposed amendments to construction safety law

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