Two women jailed for heroin-related offences

Magistrate Joe Mifsud underlined the serious nature of the crimes which he said were ruining Maltese and Gozitan society

The magistrate underlined the serious nature of the crimes with which the women were accused
The magistrate underlined the serious nature of the crimes with which the women were accused

Two women have been jailed for drug offences in Gozo. In separate cases, both decided by Magistrate Joe Mifsud, Maria Concetta Vella and Dorothy Refalo were found guilty of trafficking heroin.

Police had started to investigate Vella after a fatal overdose in Fontana in 2011, whilst Refalo was arrested in 2016 after police observing her movements had spotted her throwing sachets of heroin out of her car.

Magistrate Mifsud underlined the serious nature of the crimes with which the women were accused, saying that the drugs trade was ruining Maltese and Gozitan society.

Vella, 47, from Zebbug in Gozo was found guilty of trafficking heroin in June 2011 and relapsing. The court condemned her to 4 years imprisonment and a fine of €2,500 and ordered her to pay costs amounting to over €1,200.

In the second sentence, Magistrate Mifsud sentenced 44 year-old Dorothy Refalo from Sannat to 16 months imprisonment and a fine of €1000 after finding her guilty of possession of heroin and recidivism. The court requested the Director of Prisons to see that Refalo received treatment for her drug addiction problems.

In both sentences, the court expressed its concern at the widening problem of drug abuse, calling it a scourge that is continuing to expand in a disgusting market that knows no boundaries, a particular risk to young people.

He appealed to journalists not to impede police investigations in drug cases by revealing how the police work in such cases. This would be playing into the hands of the traffickers, he said.

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