At the Beginning of 2018 The Wheels of Justice Methodically Turn
The peace, civility and tranquillity that is part and parcel of living in our Principality is earned day in day out through vigilance and respect for the law. HelloMonaco shines a spotlight on Monaco’s justice system at work. Breaking the law is seen to be dealt with in a decisive and fair manner. At the beginning of 2018 we see those few who stepped over the line have their day in court and justice meted out.
Aggravated Sexual Inappropriate Behaviour at Monaco Station
In a case of aggravated sexual impropriety, the defendant, an unmarried Romanian man, did himself no favours with the court, showing great disrespect for the judge and even insulting a friend who came to help him.
In January this year, on the station platform at about 6 pm, three women had complained of his behaviour to security. He had touched passing by women in their private parts below the waist. Another woman had recounted him following her into the women’s bathroom. The video surveillance evidence presented to the court was overwhelming, together with the women being able to identify him. The culprit’s defence was both implausible – mistaking the women’s WC for the men’s – and shocking – that the women should have been flattered and happy with his attention!
The judge admonished him for regarding serious criminal behaviour as a joke. It turned out on investigation that the culprit had a history of illegal behaviour both in Monaco where he was forbidden to enter (but had ignored the ban) and in France where he had at least seven convictions for theft, threats and violent behaviour. And there was a record of his being interviewed previously after a complaint of sexual harassment and a record of a criminal past in Romania.
The prosecution argued that he was a serious sexual predator, there being additional evidence including pornographic material in support of the prosecution’s case. Against a possible maximum jail term of five years the prosecution asked for an 18 months prison sentence. The court’s decision was 12 months jail term.
Quarrel and Fight between Cashiers in a Monaco Supermarket
Two cashiers at a supermarket got into a fight in April of last year. They never liked each other, never talked to each other and this simmering unease just awaited an event to trigger a quarrel. It happened. A customer approached the defendant, a 29-year-old young women, to check-out her shopping. Taking her break the culprit told the shopper to go to the next cashier, a woman in her fifties, who in turn made some sarcastic and caustic comments enough to cause the defendant to complain to the supermarket’s management. The two cashiers were summoned by their manager and spoken to about their behaviour. Everything could have stopped there except on returning to their posts the two decided to settle the score with each other with some name-calling. Then the situation got completely out of hand and the 29-year-old pulled the other cashier by the hair, grabbed her by the arms and throat and hit her.
The result – she was fired by the supermarket for attacking a fellow employee and also ended up in court with the victim asking for fines and damages totalling around 2000 euros. The video surveillance clearly showed the assault – there was no denying the fight which had lasted for about half a minute. Witnesses did point out the victim had a reputation for provoking people.
The result: The culprit was given a suspended fine of 1000 euro. The complainant was denied damages.
Intercepted at Monaco Station – A Man with a Concealed Knife Acting Suspiciously
Other than his date of birth in 1958 and that he was Lithuanian it was difficult to establish much more about the culprit’s identity. He claimed to live in the UK and be a businessman – there was some record of obstruction of the police when confronted by them in the UK. He had also been ejected from France twice, not having the appropriate documents to stay.
He was intercepted pushing a bike in Monaco station last September while acting suspiciously. In brief, he was uncooperative and verbally aggressive with the Security staff and was escorted to the Police where he was put in detention and legally searched. They found a concealed knife in his pockets with an 8cm blade and a 11cm handle, sufficient to be categorized as a type of weapon. There were also a number of suspicious smartphones and smart-tablets which the culprit refused to unlock.
Faced with a dismissive and uncooperative attitude from the defendant, and the clear evidence, there was not much the defence could do. The Prosecution argued for a three-month jail term. The result was more lenient – the court’s judgement was a one-month suspended jail term.