Of crime and punishment

Am I the only one who thinks that Maximillian Ciantar is getting off relatively lightly when compared to some others who got more jail time for relatively smaller infringements?

The severity or otherwise of specific crimes is a very subjective matter of course. I happen to fall within that group who believe that mowing down two kids and causing semi-permanent injuries due to reckless driving is actually more serious than, say, theft or drug possession. Call me crazy, I give more priority to human life than to material possessions.

Quick recap of some of Mr Ciantar’s transgressions

  1. A hit and run incident
  2. Placing one child in a coma for several days and causing enough injuries to her brain and to the left side of her body so as to lead to permanent injuries (the child will suffer from headaches all her life and to date does not have complete control of her left side).
  3. Causing injuries to another child, making her undergo two operations  and creating the risk of a lifetime of reduced mobility due to the fact that the injured leg will most likely not grow properly.
  4. Attacking journalists
  5. Resisting arrest
  6. Setting fire to his cell
  7. Driving without a licence
  8. Driving dangerously
  9. Breaching a driving ban

His sentence

A 2 year jail term, of which he only served 16 months due to good conduct. Because setting fire to your cell qualifies as good conduct, apparently. His more recent transgressions earnt him a 3 month jail term.  So by the time all this is over, this gentleman will have spent a total of 19 months in jail for all the above. Unless he’s let out again in a couple of weeks time for good behaviour, of course.

Now compare this to the fate of the following offenders

Etienne Micallef, 36, from Qormi – jailed for two years for stealing about €4,000 worth of gold jewellery from two houses.  

Daniel Holmes, 34, from Ghajnsielem – jailed for more than 10 years and fined €23,000 for cultivating cannabis in a Gozo apartment 

 Stephen Mifsud, 39, homeless – jailed for two-and-a-half years cash for stealing cash from four petrol stations 

I’m sure there are many other such examples – feel free to do a Google search. Now just to be clear, I’m not making light of the above crimes. Because I know that some bright spark will pipe up with an accusation that I’m suggesting it’s fine to steal, cultivate cannabis or whatever, I will spell it out. I’m NOT saying Micallef, Holmes and Mifsud should get off scot-free (though it’s impossible not to go WTF at Holmes’ sentence, especially bearing in mind that hardened criminals get off with a lot less).

What I’m saying is that a court sentence should always reflect the severity of the crime. And if someone who steals jewellery deserves a 2 year jail-term, then the law courts should damn well make sure that someone who causes bodily harm to a human being gets a lot more than that. Otherwise the community risks losing faith completely in the justice system.




  1. markbiwwa says:

    Too true, and this is pretty much the standard ‘rule’ for all judgements in Malta. Remember that bastard who beat his woman to the ground in Paceville? He got off scot free too. Only ‘obscene writers’ don’t seem to to do that! http://markbiwwa.com/2011/03/14/violence-and-obscenity-maltese-style/

  2. Ros says:

    There needs to be a review of the whole system – I fail to understand how a pedophile who screwed up two young lives gets a lesser sentence than a guy who is growing weed at home.


  3. Cedric Vella says:

    a big WTF!! in relation to other sentences handed out by the judges.
    I think Malta should also start considering community services.

  4. greta says:

    stupid malta ! n stupid people in malta “` jesus ¬

  5. Inmates running the asylum? crazy all the way around

  6. Johann Fenech says:

    Well written as always Ramona. What you forgot to mention is that he actually had won €1000 in damages after running over the two kids and I quote :-

    “During the case, Mr Ciantar won €1,000 in compensation for breach of human rights because, although he had been granted bail, the conditions imposed meant he was denied effective release.”

    from http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20111110/local/Banned-driver-caught-at-the-wheel.393042


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