A jobless father-of-seven who took four of his children on a shoplifting spree on Sunday, was placed under probation after admitting to his wrongdoing in court.
Prosecuting Inspector Matthew Grech explained how police had been alerted to the theft at a San Gwann household and toy store at around 10am.
CCTV footage confirmed police suspicions.
The 38-year old Qormi man had turned up at the store along with four young children who were evidently directed to pick items off the shelves and slip into their pockets.
Police intervened to block the suspect, while his children, aged 5, 8, 9 and 11, were entrusted into the mother’s care.
The father-of-seven, who explained that he ended up jobless on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, was charged with theft of toys and electronic equipment, aggravated by the total value of the items stolen.
He was also charged with failing to take proper care of his four minor children.
The man registered a guilty plea.
After hearing submissions on punishment, the court, presided by magistrate Charmaine Galea, placed the father under a 3-year probation order, whilst urging him to address his personal problems.
Meanwhile, the court was informed that social workers would be following up the case to ensure the children’s well-being.
Publication of all names was banned by the courts.
Lawyer Arthur Azzopardi was defence counsel.
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