Giving Consuelo Herrera and her Keystone Cops a run for their money

Published: July 12, 2011 at 9:09pm

Charlon Gouder at Consuelo's birthday party (that's her naked back being pawed in the background)

God, it was so much fun.

I spent the afternoon at the beach celebrating her ‘wajs’ stupidity while she fulminated with her lawyer Steve Tonna Lowell, a man who belts his trousers round his chest, and that sad little twerpy Inspector Sandro Wotsit, who acts butch while she’s looking at him in court, and immediately relaxes when she stomps out, then denies that she’s putting him under pressure.

The fact is this, Consuelo: the law is the law. Being a magistrate, you should know that. But you also know that you shouldn’t be socialising with plaintiffs and defendants in cases you’re hearing, and still you do it.

You know that you shouldn’t preside over a criminal case in which the defendant is the brother of the man you’re secretly sleeping with (though not secretly enough), and still you did it.

You know that as a magistrate, you shouldn’t have had secret sex (though not secret enough) with a police inspector, and still you did it.

You know that you shouldn’t socialise with policemen or have supper with Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando when you’re hearing his case in court, and still you do it. You know you shouldn’t chat with scum like Ronnie Pellegrini on Facebook or send him Facebook bouquets or send Facebook greetings to criminal lawyers who fight cases before you, and still you did it.

And more, and worse.

And now here you are, angry because the police were not allowed to break the law and serve me with summons on Sunday or 16 hours before the court hearing, and your lawyer-with-the-belt-around-his-chest accuses me of making a mockery of the court.

Poor Tonna Lowell. Gibtu l-paljazza tieghek. Kemm hu cuc, miskin. Il-vera naive, jahasra.

So you chose to use the police to prosecute me, rather than filing a civil suit, and now you have to abide by the law on procedure in police cases.

The law on procedure is strict and highly specific. It is designed to protect people against the depredations of the police and the magistrates they occasionally have sex with. Or lunch. Or drinks. Or parties (and then mistake them for Michael Cassar).

I am fully apprised of the law even if the half-brains you usually deal with are not.

And as you know already, Consuelo, the way I deal with bullies like you has always been the same: I whistle them right up a dead-end alley and straight into an ambush.

It’s especially easy when they’re not particularly bright, and sometimes I wish it were more of a challenge.

This whole defamation case is about the lack of separation of powers between certain magistrates like you and the police who feel they must obey you, because one or two of them have slept with you behind their wife’s back.

This is about how you take it for granted that the rules can be bent, because that is precisely how you live your life, and again, this is what the case is about.

I refuse to go along with police and magistrates (and their lawyers) who think it’s OK to break the law, because we’re in Malta u kollox jghaddi.

The law states clearly that individuals must be served with the formal summons to appear in court not less than 48 hours before the hearing. And NEVER on a Sunday or public holiday, or between 7pm and 7am.

That Police Academy they opened yesterday has a hell of a lot of work to do. I laughed when I read the news report. It was just so ironic.

Perhaps they could include a couple of sessions on how parking a squad car with siren wailing for half an hour outside the home of somebody charged with defaming a magistrate, as they did to me yesterday, is not the best way to go about things.

Who do you call when the police are doing something that mad and abusive? The police?

Parking a car with a wailing siren outside somebody’s house to flush them out doesn’t only scream ‘POLICE HARASSMENT’, it also made the police look ridiculous, panicked and desperate – and scared rigid of Consuelo Herrera or whatever superintendant she happened to be sitting on at the time. Oh, and I don’t mean his face, either, though there was a time she really was doing that until she found another face to sit on and that explains why Mr Musumeci now wears reinforced spectacles.

Note to Steve Tonna Lowell: I didn’t make a mockery of the court. Your client is doing a pretty good job of that herself. I made a mockery of the police, and I loved every damned minute of it.

Of course, I understand their frustration at not being able to harass me into submission, breaking the law while doing so, as they harass others.

Attempting to serve me with this summons on Sunday, especially when it was time-barred already, was against the law. They’ve known about the date for three months, but they thought they’d try a spot of bullying and turn up less than 48 hours beforehand and on a Sunday.

Then when my husband told them to bugger off, they panicked because they’d run out of options and were dangling at the end of somebody’s chain. So the following morning, they parked their squad car outside our home and switched on the siren, trying to noise-pollute me out of my ‘lair’.

The idiots assumed I was there because they saw lots of cars outside. Yes, they were told in court, they belong to our sons, who are currently away from Malta.

What did they think – that I was indoors, entertaining the troops?

Attempting to serve me yesterday, just a few hours before the hearing, was against the law too. But what do they care? They’re not used to dealing with people who’ve read the law. They’re used to dealing with people who are scared of them.

Turning up in a squad car with a full complement of four officers, just to serve somebody with a simple summons for a bleeding libel suit, for all the world as though they were going to arrest a cocaine dealer – when the usual method is to dispatch a single officer on a bike – was ridiculous.

It made them look mad and desperate, and if the Police Commissioner isn’t in on this too, then he should set off an internal inquiry at once.

If he’d like to give me a call, I’ll be happy to give him the name of the police inspector Consuelo Herrera had a secret affair with for several years. He’s now a superintendant. Otherwise, he’ll just have to wait until 6th September to find out.

I promise you, it wasn’t Michael Cassar, even though she might have thought it was at the time.

Maybe they sent a squad car and four officers with their stupid summons because they thought I was going to fling the front door open and perform a little reactment of the ‘Say hello to my little friend’ scene from Scarface – you know, with the bazouka I keep in the larder for just such occasions.

I’m told that they looked like a Keystone Cops farce, creeping round the perimeter wall of my house (trespassing in fields to do so) and trying to peer into the windows, that one officer actually tried to force open the electric gate to reach the front door, then jumped back when he saw the snarling fangs on my Neapolitan mastiff, who flung himself, drool flying, at the gate (good dog, Santino).

That’s all I needed – to return home and find a severely mauled police officer lying in the drive after having laid down his life for Consuelo Herrera. Apparently, she’s wortit.

They hung about for most of the morning with their squad car and their siren, wasting police time and making fools of themselves.

If the police will behave seriously abusively in my regard, a person with a certain amount of clout in the media, a person who knows the law, what then are they doing to the weak and vulnerable, who have no voice and are not aware of their rights?

That’s right: they close the door to the station and they beat them up, like they did to that immigrant they picked up in Paceville a couple of years ago, who they handcuffed in a degrading prone position to the legs of a bench.

I do not cooperate with police abuse.

I meet it with a two-fingered reverse salute.

I find it shocking that anybody should expect me to cooperate with the police as they break the law.

No way on earth was I ever going to accept their illegal summons.

The police are also prosecuting me for ‘defaming’ Charlon Gouder and Julia Farrugia – poor thing, miskina. I can’t see four officers turning up in a squad car and hanging about my house all Sunday morning with a siren blaring in a blind panic to notify me of either of those two cases.

But then the police probably haven’t slept with Charlon Gouder.

87 Comments Comment

  1. James Grech says:

    Thanks for this, Daphne. I hate police abuse and I often come across it especially when I visit a police station and face their unique customer care approach.

    Everyone seems to hail the Maltese police force but in my opinion it’s still very disorganised, unprofessional and inconsistent.

  2. Interested Bystander says:

    Do you also have a poodle called Fredo?

    [Daphne – No, I also have a Staffordshire bull terrier called Tony.]

  3. ciccio2011 says:

    Thanks for this free entertainment (I’m wiping the tears from my laughter) and for exposing those who abuse of the rights of others.

    I suggest you next time put an alarm bell next to the gates, and when the police turn up, you turn it on…

  4. xarlon says:

    Charlon Gouder’s busy elsewhere, isn’t he? Wasn’t there some sort of video about his goings on some years ago?

  5. ciccio2011 says:

    …And should also record their actions on video and post it on YouTube…

  6. Steve Forster says:

    Suggest they put this as applied reading at the new academy

    and watch all the Benny Hill re-runs, whilst thinking about your dog chasing them around the garden.

  7. Joethemaltaman says:

    Daphne, you’re simply the best.

    • silvio says:

      Reading what you wrote I was thinking how better Malta would have been if we had more women (and men) like you.

      I know you don’t like being praised, but I will risk your rebuke and say:

      Daphne you are GREAT.

      • Zorro and friends says:

        Hear, hear Silvio. and so say all of us, mate. The problem with this island is that heads never roll even in the face of such abuse of power. X’pajjiz tan-nejk!

  8. j.l.b.matekoni says:

    Talking of policemen and perhaps a bit beside the point really but… I came across two sleeping cops in their car this weekend in a lane at Ta’ Qali. Sleeping soundly with the car doors flung open ghaz-ziffa. This was about 7.30am on a Sunday. I also came across a simliar scene near the Red Tower last winter. Can they actually take a nap on the beat? Has anyone seen such sleeping policemen?

    [Daphne – Only as bumps in the road. Next time lean in and switch on their siren, then beetle off.]

  9. H.P. Baxxter says:

    We love you, Daphne. You speak for the silent minority.

  10. xarlon says:

    Ah, yes. Here it is:

    [Daphne – Thanks for bringing that up again, though I won’t suppose he’ll be giving the hookers much business now that some poor sod of a woman has finally taken him off the shelf in return for a ring on her finger.]

  11. La Redoute says:

    It makes one wonder what the police are afraid of in this particular case. Is someone twisting their arm or perhaps has her fingers – figuratively speaking, of course – entangled in their short and curlies?

  12. Gahan says:

    U imbaghad tiskanta kif bniedem kellu jammetti li xehed falz li l-gar ta’ l-ghalqa tieghu qatel il-kelba Star, jehel b’kollox u imbaghad insibu li li kien qal kien minnhu!”Star”&t=a&aid=99828679&cid=39

    Alla jbierek, ma jirrizenja hadd u il-pulizija ma taghmilx apologija ma’ l-innocenti li salbet bis-sistemi taghha!

  13. xarlon says:

    Oh, and is this what offended Julia Farrugia?

    The way it reads to me is that it’s her father on whom she should turn her guns, though given the unfortunate background to the story, that’s probably not the best metaphor to use here.

  14. Grezz says:

    What a waste of time and of public funds.

    Stick to your guns, Daphne. Malta needs more people like you.

  15. Grezz says:

    Nice dress she’s got there. The jury’s still out on whether it’s suitable for a magistrate, even one of such poor standing. But one thing’s for sure: it’s not suitable for a fat back. Black is slimming, yes, but two strips of it don’t go a long way.

  16. chavsRus says:

    No matter how you dress it up, it’s still chickening out and refusing to face the court.

    [Daphne – Chavs, read my lips: chickens don’t write blogs like this. Chickens call themselves chavsRus so as to conceal their identity while calling others chicken. You might find useful some information that was not in the report on the only reason my husband was in court is that he was delegated – by me – to pick up the summons-sheet for the next hearing, making the point that the reason I did not turn up was not because I was trying to get out of it, but because I wasn’t notified according to law and to highlight abusive police behaviour. But I repeat, being a Labour supporter all your life, the finer points of correct procedure and civil liberties escape you.]

    • Grezz says:

      All this “chicken talk” reminded me of something …

    • il-Ginger says:

      There, there have a banana.

    • Zorro says:

      ChavRus, the day you can call Daphne a chicken is the day that you put your hand on your crotch and find you actually have two big ones instead of one tiny zibga (and that’s a g with a dot in case it confuses you).

      Sorry D, but you must admit this is probably the only language this creep understands.

      • chavsRus says:

        You mean “żibġa”. Get somebody to show you how to use Maltese fonts – it’s not THAT hard.

    • Joe Micallef says:


      “Chickens call themselves chavsRus so as to conceal their identity while calling others chicken.”

      TOUCHE! (look it up although I suspect you know the feeling)

      • chavsRus says:

        Actually it’s “touché!” – and it’s usually said by the person who gets ‘hit’, not by the person who makes the ‘hit’ (or thinks he or she has made the ‘hit’).

      • Joe Micallef says:

        Aigu’s apart but I think it must have escaped you that you were the one hit with a wholesome chicken!

      • chavsRus says:

        Tsk, tsk!

        An apostrophe followed by an s (–‘s) signifies possession, not plural

        You meant to say “aigus”.

        Get on the ball!

      • Grezz says:

        Tsk, tsk, chavsRus. If you really want to be a pedant, there’s no English plural for “aigu'” (with an accent), it being a French word.

      • Joe Micallef says:

        You win poulet or poule. But no in your case it’s either lâche or trouillard or poltron or couard!

        Anyway, whatever it is in French in your case it is CHICKEN.

      • chavsRus says:

        @ Joe Micallef

        – What else did you get for Christmas, besides a French Thesaurus?

        – I just noticed the “wholesome chicken” bit. I trust you don’t think that “wholesome” means the same as “whole” or “entire”. Do you?

      • Joe Micallef says:

        Not really. Line of thinking was more about benefit to the soul derived from identifying someone for what he really is!

    • chavsRus says:

      But you have already made that point – and good for you. Now what? Are you hoping to dodge going to court indefinitely?

      [Daphne – Slow, aren’t you. Don’t get me started again on the thinking skills of labour voters. I am going to testify on 6 September. And dodging never came into it. I was responsible for just one of the postponements: because I had to travel for work, last July.]

    • Rover says:

      Clearly chavvie is still labouring in the old Pietru Pawl Busuttil frame-up years, as indeed are some in the present police force.

      • chavsRus says:

        Funny you should mention that, Rover. Were you aware that the police officers responsible for that pseudo-frameup were well rewarded by the subsequent PN governments?

        Ever wondered why?

      • Rover says:

        Name them and their reward.

      • chavsRus says:


        “A number of police officers who were actively involved in the frame-ups are still within the Police Corps. So are others intimately linked to the death of Nardu Debono, who was brutally beaten to death at the depot and whose lifeless body was then dumped at Wied-ic-Cawsli, in Qormi. Nine years of Nationalist administration were not enough to bring all offenders to boot. Police officers who were knee deep in the mud which smeared the Police Force, were promoted and, indeed, some are now enjoying ranks of superintendents and inspectors.

        From The Independent (not L-Orizzont, or Il-KullĦadd) of 16/3/97

      • Grezz says:

        We’re still waiting, chavS …

      • Rover says:

        You’ve had more than enough time chavvie……and you have the cheek to call Daphne a chicken.

  17. VAUX says:

    Thanks, Daphne, you are great. Yours is a gender victory.

    [Daphne – Why gender? That has nothing to do with it.]

  18. Interested Bystander says:

    The police of a country in general represent the character of that country.

    My own brushes with them in Malta have been varied.

    Once went to Sliema nick to report something and found a desk sergeant with what looked like a uniform three sizes too big. To write, he kept hitching up the sleeve and I did laugh out loud but he didn’t know the reason why I don’t think. He looked like a chimp had been kicked through the tunic suppliers storeroom.

    Then once another time a policeman came to an office I was working at because they had been trying to get in touch with me and had asked the neighbours who said where I was working.

    Someone had made a complaint against me and this policeman was taking their word as gospel. He was taken aback that I was very unhappy he had disrupted me at work. I attended the police station that evening and it became clear to them it was mistaken identity. No apology from the law man. I then got angry and leaned to take his number so I could report him. He got worried at this and remarked that I was getting his number so I could leave a bomb at his door.

    All in all I treat them as a joke.

  19. A. Charles says:

    The ultimate responsibility for these police shenanigans rest with the Commissioner of Police; either he puts the police force on the right track or else he resigns.

  20. A. Charles says:

    Now let’s be serious. Daphne, you have a Neapolitan mastiff to defend your household; that is a suitable case of intensive police investigation because as we all know Camorra and Neapolitans are synonymous and we cannot allow any of these people to have a foothold on our shores.

  21. Bajd u laham says:

    Sorry to butt in but I couldn’t hold my obsessively compulsive self from clarifying a few things: Tony Montana used an M-16 with an M-203 40mm grenade launcher attachment when he went on a killing spree in the final scene of Scarface. Oh, and it’s ‘Bazooka’ and not ‘Bazouka’. Sorry again.

  22. Gingerman says:

    I think the police commissioner needs to see this article so that he may take the necessary disciplinary action against these harrassing officers and their wasting precious police time.

    I hope that Rizzo has been copied regarding these abuses, so that he wont say that he was not informed.

  23. xarlon says:


    Who’s the one doing the pawing? It can’t be Charlon Gouder. His hands appear to be busy with something other than the magistrate’s fat back.

  24. Guza says:

    “The magistrate noted that the police inspector disagreed with his ruling and promptly told him: “It is I who decide in here.””

    Any further comment is superfluous.

  25. Rita Camilleri says:

    Did they have any doughnuts and coffee? I think our boys in blue are watching too many American cops movies.

  26. Hot Mama says:

    When I read the report in The Times about your no show at the Courts, I said to myself: No way is Daphne going to play in their hands! I am sure there is something behind this!

    You provided the explanation here. Isn’t this police abuse? Why doesn’t Carm do anything about it? God knows he has had the time.

  27. …..hold on, gotta catch my breath, LOL! You’re hilarious.

    One question…..if the magistrate decided that you were in fact NOT notified, then how dare he say that 6th Sep is your last chance to testify? What if they do leave it with Santino this time?

    [Daphne – Oh, that was sorted out in advance. They’ve forgotten, I think, that they’re dealing with somebody who can think on her feet. Even as I made the decision not to submit to police law-breaking and harassment and accept the notification on a Sunday or on the eve of the hearing, I asked my husband to go to court at the appointed hour and accept the new notification on my behalf (my lawyer can’t do it) to signify my willingness to be there and also to avoid further comedies involving police sirens on the eve of the hearing.]

  28. dery says:

    I am not interested in who sleeps with whom though lots of people are as can be seen by the popularity of certain postings of yours. What I am interested in is justice and how it is carried out. I am not talking about some petty case as yours is but serious cases where people end up in jail for years or have their lives ruined by the delays in our justice system.

    [Daphne – This is not a petty case, my dear. The ramifications are very serious indeed. And not for me.]

    I spent some time going through the sentenzi online website and I can see that Herrera’s judgements when compared to some of her counterparts are delivered efficiently… if the speed by which justice is delivered is anything to go by she is good at her job.

    [Daphne – It is substance you must look at, not speed. That, and ethical behaviour. You won’t care about the speediness of a delivery of a judgement when you discover that nobody knew she was having sex with the defendant’s brother, who she let off.]

    • xarlon says:

      And what happened to that infamous criminal case involving Joseph Musumeci, a cable TV decoder and Consuelo Scerri-Herrera? Had she let him off or what? Isn’t he Robert Musumeci’s brother?

      [Daphne – That’s the very one.]

    • dery says:

      If you take a person X in Malta you’d be hard pressed to find that s/he has not slept with anyone somehow related to another random person Y. We are a nation of inbred people. This is even more evident in Gozo where any epidemiologist will tell you that certain forms of morbidity are very prevalent because of such a small genetic pool. What would you have done in her place? Say “Sorry I can’t judge your case because I am committing adultery with someone related to you? I would have acted as she did and kept my mouth shut.

      [Daphne – You’d be surprised how many people don’t sleep around, dery. Most people don’t, in fact. As for the specifics, you clearly misunderstand: the magistrate was having sex with the brother of the man in the dock before her (secretly – but not secretly enough) AT THE TIME SHE SAT IN JUDGEMENT OVER HIM. If she were married to Robert Musumeci at the time, rather than just having sex secretly with him while taking her husband tea in bed (an interview in The Times refers here), she would not have been permitted to sit in judgement over his brother. For the same reasons.]

      As far as I know you have never criticised the substance of any of her judgements.

      [Daphne – Something tells me you are a lawyer, which worries me as your legal thinking is very confused. You have to go beyond the letter of the law and look at the spirit of the law. To criticise the circumstances in which she gives certain judgements is to essentially criticise the judgements themselves, including the one in which she let off Robert Musumeci’s brother after failing to inform the court (for obvious reasons) that she could not hear the case because she was sleeping with Musumeci. Other cases: Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando appears as a plaintiff before her and while the case is ongoing, she has dinner with him and goes out with his girlfriend. She was one of the two or three magistrates who heard libel suits, but her parties were routinely packed with key members of Super One and other random useful journalists from other stations and newspapers. If you do not find this appalling (as the Chief Justice clearly did, when he removed all those cases from her in April last year) then you have become corrupted. You would probably be more at home in Italy.]

      I understand now that yours may be a landmark case which may have wide and far flung consequences on the media and the legal system. However as I have said in another comment which I don’t think you’ve published if I were seeking justice I’d prefer her over a couple of other magistrates that spring to mind.

      [Daphne – I don’t recall the comment? You would be wrong to prefer her, for this simple reason that you don’t seem to understand: that you would have no idea at all whether, if yours is a criminal case, she has had sex with the officer prosecuting you, or, if it is a civil case, whether she had dinner the previous night with your opposing party. Now do you understand what this is all about? When I appear before, say, Joe Apap Bologna I know the case is going to take a long, long time, but at least I know he hasn’t had dinner with Arlette Baldacchino (the case in question) or sex with her lawyer Claire Bonello. And that is comforting and how it is supposed to be.]

      • Grezz says:

        @dery. Sometimes keeping one’s legs “shut” is more acceptable than keeping one’s mouth shut.

      • David Buttigieg says:

        Come again?

        The same Claire Bonello who is supporter for the supposedly “liberal anti racist” alternattiva is defending the Braun wannabe?

        [Daphne – Yes. As long as it’s against me, she’ll fight Engels’ case.]

  29. Vanni says:

    I found this an amusing read, untill I got to the part where they switched on their sirens. Isn’t that against regulations? I read somewhere that sirens should be used only to indicate to all in the immediate vicinity of urgency and to warn road users of the presence of the vehicle on the road in exceptional circumstances.

    BTW, came across this:

    Mind you, we are talking about police procedure in England where their motto is:
    “Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity.”

    Might be too much to expect from the local chapter of the Keystone Kops:

  30. red nose says:

    Daph has suffered enough of police atrocities and it seems they did not learn anything since then…..God save us from the cops – all of them.

  31. Tim Ripard says:

    I take my hat off to you – yet again.

  32. galian says:

    I read the article on and was eagerly waiting your reply here to see how it REALLY went. Thanks.

  33. il-Ginger says:

    Meanwhile, we have a prime minister that does not respect democracy.

  34. M. Cilia says:

    Couldn’t stop laughing at your “man who belts his trousers round his chest”.

    That man must be using a zejster – opposite of hipster.

  35. Legal expert says:

    “…Steve Tonna Lowell, a man who belts his trousers round his chest…”

    I would prefer to go to court with a new Arriva bus driver than to have Dr. Tonna Lowell as my legal counsel.

    • Legal expert says:

      In the sense of “I would prefer to be accompanied in Court by a new Arriva bus driver…”

  36. Neil Dent says:

    Reading the report in today’s (Wednesday) The Times, AFTER reading this post, made for some hilarious mental imagery while doing so. I fully recommend it to those who have not done so already.

  37. red nose says:

    I think it is time to think “seriously” of trying to persuade Daphne to somehow join our political set up.

    • silvio says:

      Daphne, I cannot wait to see what happens on the 6th September.

      As far as I’m concerned, whatever the outcome of your case, to me you are already the winner.

      You have undoubtedly proved yourself as a woman who will not let anyone fool around with you (this of course we all knew for quite some time). But what you did, you did also for us common mortals. I hope that gone are the days when the police can think that no one dares stand up for their rights.

      I might not see eye to eye with you on many topics, but as from now you have my eternal support (for all it’s worth).

  38. L-ghatba tal-Qorti says:

    Were Miss Jason and Ronnie Pellegrini seen anywhere near that hall of the court yesterday?

  39. silvio farrugia says:

    If one is abused by the police and one of course cannot complain to the same police is it right to send an e-mail to the European ombudsman? I did once about the enlarging of the Freeport and got an answer from the Malta Ombudsman.

    One reason a lot of us voted for entry in the EU was to cut a lot of abuses in Malta and a lot of harassment.

  40. red nose says:

    One important thing that has to be remembered: certain police officers do not think that perjury is a crime: they thake perjury routinely.

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