MaltaToday, 30 Jan 2008 | Probation instead of jail for teenage girls on appeal
Front PageTop NewsEditorialOpinionInterview_LettersCulture
NEWS | Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Probation instead of jail for teenage girls on appeal

Two young teenage girls, originally sentenced to seven days’ detention for causing slight injuries to another girl in a fight in Valletta last March, have had their sentences overturned on appeal, with Chief Justice Vincent Degaetano instead placing the young offenders on probation for three years.
A third girl involved in the same incident, who did not appeal against the original judgement, has already served her sentence in Mt Carmel Hospital, after it transpired that Corradino prison’s juvenile wing Young Offenders’ Unit (YOURS) was not equipped for female inmates.
The sentence had elicited controversy and criticism from various quarters, with prison support group Mid-Dlam Ghad-Dawl objecting that detention is no punishment for young teenage girls.
In a hearing behind closed doors on Monday, Degaetano waived detention for the remaining two offenders, but imposed a number of conditions on their probation order: including that the girls continue living with their parents for the full three-year period, and that they keep indoors between 11pm and 7am.
This newspaper is reliably informed of another condition, imposed verbally by the Chief Justice but not written into the final sentence, whereby the teenagers forgo each other’s company for the three-year probation period.
The lawyers representing one of the two girls, Dr Andy Ellul and Dr Vincent Micallef, expressed satisfaction at the outcome, although they insist that the law still needs to be changed.
Contacted by MaltaToday, Ellul said: “We welcome the Court of Appeal’s decision to overturn the original prison sentence. But all the same, the law has not changed with regard to young offenders. While it is understandable to impose detention in cases of serious crimes, it is unacceptable in cases of contraventions or petty offences.
According to law the court still has the discretion to sentence children to prison. We blame the legislator – parliament – for this state of affairs, as this is the only institution which can change the law.”

Any comments?
If you wish your comments to be published in our Letters pages please click the button below



Go to MaltaToday
recent issues:
10/02/08 | 06/02/08
03/02/08 | 30/01/08
27/01/08 | 23/01/08
20/01/08 | 16/01/08
13/01/08 | 09/01/08
06/01/08 | 02/01/08
30/12/07 | 23/12/07
19/12/07 | 16/12/07
12/12/07 | 09/12/07
05/12/07 | 02/12/07
28/11/07 | 25/11/07
21/11/07 | 18/11/07

14/11/07 | 11/11/07
07/11/07 | 04/11/07

Watch Reporter online

NEWS | Wednesday, January 30 2008

NEWS ANALYSIS: The only way is Sant

Former MaltaTel director to be arraigned over unpaid salaries

Injured migrant dumped on Balzan centre

Mangion refutes PN claims on social services

Commission still investigating rationalisation of building zones

Michael Falzon sues MaltaToday for libel

Probation instead of jail for teenage girls on appeal

Ministry turns to YouTube to ‘out-Smart’ BA’s ban on ads

Labour’s star guest Johnson makes facelift headlines

Brincat calls for stronger outsourcing role for Malta

Copyright © MediaToday Co. Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 9016, Malta, Europe
Managing editor Saviour Balzan | Tel. ++356 21382741 | Fax: ++356 21385075 | Email