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The Malta Independent
08 November 2011
A man was jailed for three years after being found guilty of attempting to kill his elderly uncle when he hit him several times with a hammer on the head as he rested in bed.
When the hammer came apart, the man started punching the victim in the head but the victim eventually came to his senses and called the assailant’s father, the victim’s brother, for assistance.
The elderly man was certified to have been suffering from serious injuries including fractures.
David Zammit Gauci, now 47, assaulted his uncle Michael Zammit Gauci two years ago when he was 67. The nephew had been living with the victim for two-and-a-half years at his residence in Windsor Terrace Street, Sliema.
Testifying before Magistrate Audrey Demicoli, the victim said that he was resting in bed on 2 June, 2009 at around 1pm, when the aggressor entered the room, covered his face with a bed sheet, dragged him from the bed to the floor and at first hit him twice on the right side of his face. He then delivered further blows.
The victim asked for help and told his nephew to call his father. He eventually did so and the father called for an ambulance when he arrived and found out what had happened.
Mr Zammit Gauci said he was in hospital for five days.
While on the floor with blood on his face waiting for his brother to come, he heard his nephew ask himself why he had acted in such a way. The victim forgave him.
In his statement to the police, the aggressor confirmed the assault, pointing out he had used a hammer before starting to punch the man.
He explained that he was not aware of what he was doing. He admitted to hiding the hammer and other blood-stained objects in the garden, before calling his father for assistance.
Inspector Jesmond Micallef, who prosecuted, said the aggressor had indicated the objects he had hidden. He had seemed agitated and confused when questioned. He had also started crying and asking himself what he had done.
Inspector Micallef confirmed that the accused repeatedly told him he wanted to take his own life.
Prior to delivering judgement, the court took into consideration the gravity of the case as well as psychiatric reports saying the aggressor was suffering from depression and taking two sorts of medicine. The victim’s forgiveness was also noted.
Although an active jail term was imposed, this was close to the minimum possible.
Lawyers José Herrera and Veronique Dalli appeared for the accused.