Road rage incident lands Maltese criminal back in jail

Published Wed, 13/01/2016 - 14:21

A man with no less than 50 convictions was sent to prison today after a court heard how he drove over a policeman's foot in a case of road rage on Christmas Eve.

Angelo Tanti, 54, of Fgura this morning pleaded guilty to all 11 charges brought against him and apologised for his actions, before Magistrate Ian Farrugia who presided the case.

During court proceedings it emerged that Mr Tanti refused to stop after being flagged for not giving way at a roundabout close to the Regional Road traffic lights.

After being chased by a traffic policeman he finally pulled up at the Tal-Qroqq Tunnel, but while the officer inspected his licence disc on the left-hand side of the windscreen, Mr Tanti drove off, injuring the officer’s right ankle.

The officer still gave chase but had to give up in Qormi because of his painful ankle. He was given first aid soon after by former police commissioner John Rizzo who happened to be driving by and called for assistance.

Mr Tanti was apprehended in Fgura the following morning and was arraigned on Boxing Day when he was accused of violently resisting arrest, disobeying police orders, slightly injuring an officer, dangerous driving and speeding.

In addition, he was also charged with having a tampered and expired licence disc, not being covered by a third party insurance policy and breaching the conditions of six suspended sentences.

He initialled denied the charges, but changed his mind this morning.

In its decision the court noted that regardless of his admission, the case could have had much more serious consequences.

While delivering his judgment the Magistrate gave a stern warning to the defendant saying he needed to convey a strong message against his behaviour.

“You either change your life or you will spend the rest of your days walking in and out of jail,” Magistrate Farrugia told the accused.

He then sentenced him to an 18-month prison term and imposed a €6,000 fine. In addition, his driving licence was suspended for a year, and his car was impounded.

Police inspectors Sergio Pisano and Pierguido Saliba prosecuted whereas lawyer Mario Mifsud was defence counsel.