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Man fined £1,000 over drunken damage

Man fined £1,000 over drunken damage

Saturday 27 February 2021

Man fined £1,000 over drunken damage


A 37-year-old man, who drunkenly punched two holes in a wall and damaged a door in the property where he was renting a room after he fell out with the other tenants, has been fined £1,000.

In addition, Petrit Mark Bala has been ordered to £400 to the property owner in compensation of the damage caused.

Bala appeared before Royal Court over one count of malicious damage today.

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Pictured: Bala appeared before the Royal Court.

The Solicitor General, Mark Temple, told Court that Bala was not of “good previous character”. 

The offence took place on 21 June 2020 in a St. Helier house where Bala was renting a room. Bala had spent the day with friends and drunk two bottles of wine. He returned to the house just before midnight and the Court heard he was “angered” by the recent behaviour of one of the tenants who also lived there.  

As he was shouting Bala punched the hallway wall, leaving holes in the wall, before going upstairs to another tenant’s bedroom. He banged on the bedroom door shouting and was told to calm down by the tenant.

Bala was arrested shortly after and taken to Police Headquarters.

He was questioned over allegations of a grave and criminal assault and possession of an offensive weapon which were said to have occurred at the same time. Bala was then charged with both, but eventually cleared following a jury trial.

Bala had admitted the malicious damage during his first appearance in Magistrate’s Court. 

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Pictured: Advocate Luke Sette was defending.

The Court heard than on 10 February 2021 he was brought before Royal Court after he breached his curfew bail condition. Following an application from his lawyer, he was admonished by the Court and the curfew and tag conditions removed from his bail. 

Advocate Luke Sette, defending, told Court his client felt he had been mistreated while living at the property, citing cold showers and demeaning conversations as examples of it. 

He suggested the offence didn’t warrant a custodial sentence and could have instead been dealt with a fine. 

He told the Court that if they chose to impose a fine, it could be taken out of the £4,000 Bala had provided as security whilst on bail. 

Advocate Sette added that if the Court concluded his client should be jailed, he had already served enough time, having spent 67 days in jail, the equivalent of a three-month sentence with the customary reduction of a third, between his first appearance in Magistrate’s Court and his first in Royal Court.

Returning the sentence of the Court, the Deputy Bailiff Robert MacRae, who had been sitting with Jurats Jane Ronge and Elizabeth Dulake, described how Bala had fallen out with the man he regarded as his landlord but was in fact his co-tenant.

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Pictured: The Deputy Bailiff, Robert MacRae, heard the case with Jurats Ronge and Dulake.

Having sat through the trial, the Deputy Bailiff had heard evidence from neighbours which had not been included in the Crown’s summary. He said that Bala had been swearing so loudly that his neighbours heard.

One of them said they had heard him shout foul language in an angry and irate voice and called the police after hearing a door breaking. “I’m going to kill you f*** b***… I’m going to kill you… I’m going to do you,” Bala was heard shouting.

Another neighbour said they woke up to Bala shouting “mother f***” repeatedly. 

The officers who attended the scene described Bala as “aggressive and angry”. In addition, he was recorded on CCTV saying he would beat up or stab one of the tenants if he was released.  

The Deputy Bailiff described the incident as “unpleasant” and noted how Bala had previously committed offences whilst under the influence of alcohol.

He then went on to say that while Bala’s behaviour had been “very unpleasant”, the offence was not so serious that prison was the only sentence to impose.

“A man of your age should not be committing this type of offence at all,” he added, before fining Bala £1,000.

He also ordered him to pay £400 to the property owner. 

Bala has been given a week to pay both the fine and the compensation order, otherwise he could be facing up to three months in prison.

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