Noel Arrigo: time up and he never served a day in prison

Published: September 10, 2011 at 9:41am

So Noel Arrigo is out today, having served his time at the ‘Forensics Unit’ – a special division meant for insane prisoners but in reality a sort of special-treatment holding-pen for the privileged – at Mount Carmel Psychiatric Hospital.

He served 22 months of an already ridiculously brief 33-month prison term, for a crime so serious that it beggars belief – though not in his case, of course.

A petty thief or junkie who relapses and steals a handbag off a beach gets pretty much the same length of time, and it’s served behind bars.

I trust that for everybody’s sake, in this land of appalling taste and terrible behaviour, that there are going to be no ‘Welcome Home, Noel’ parties. That would be too much.

Let’s hope he puts on a hair-shirt and keeps it on for the remainder of his days, and does not go back to pinching bottoms and making inappropriate remarks to every serviceable woman who crosses his path, in between giving character testimony in favour of cocaine dealers under oath in court, like he did with Godfrey ‘I Thought It Was Emeralds’ Ellul.

As for the chief of the Labour Business Forum, I imagine she will now have the good sense to give him a wide berth, unless she is planning to help recruit him for Labour’s skip.

74 Comments Comment

  1. Dee says:

    ”As for the chief of the Labour Business Forum, I imagine she will now have the good sense to give him a wide berth, unless she is planning to help recruit him for Labour’s skip.”

    Another “heavyweight”” for Fondazzjoni Ideat and with free condoms all round.

  2. Stephen Forster says:

    He’ll no doubt be swanning around the Marsa Sports Club soon.

  3. Richard Borg says:

    The sentence given is simply appalling.

    I don’t know exactly why, but John Galliano comes to mind.

    The lawyer of the couple who filed a law suit against him for anti-Semitic remarks said that the court should take into consideration his high profile and that people consider him a role model of sorts, hence the hefty suspended fine.

    Now, this is a designer who parades on the cat-walk with feathers on his head.

    On the contrary, someone who is supposed to be the epitome of transparency and good justice was given a 33-month sentence, got 11 months off, and served his time in a maisonette in the grounds of the psychiatric hospital.

  4. il-Ginger says:

    I bet you he’ll become a candidate on the Labour Party ticket.

  5. linocauchi says:

    We have become the laughing stock of whoever needs a good laugh.

    • Zeza says:

      When you think about it, it’s really not at all funny. it’s downright pathetic.

      A judge who accepts bribes, and – to add insult to injury – is given a minimal sentence, of which he never spends one day behind bars.

      Another judge as above, who has been out of prison for at least two years now. Are we meant to have faith in justice and the courts, and treat the latter with respect? I certainly cannot bring myself to do so.

  6. *1981* says:

    and then the poor boy who has been in mount carmel since he was 6, has no one in the world at 16 .. was sent to prison because he stole ….

    l – infern bil – qu ha jkun ghal magistrati li ghandha !

  7. Jozef says:

    When’s his birthday?

  8. Kenneth Cassar says:

    One word springs to mind: Mafia.

  9. Antoine Vella says:

    I expect Noel Arrigo is now ‘cured’ of whatever ailment he suffered from that required him to be kept in a psychiatric hospital for 22 months.

  10. Cportelli says:

    Daphne, this country makes me laugh (or should I say cry) more every day….. we are speeking of a corrupt judge who is FREE. Can you believe that. Is this the type of example we want to give?

  11. Harry Purdie says:

    A disgraceful, embarrassing end to a truly sordid story.

  12. yor/malta says:

    I was under the impression that this man has been interdicted and that his pension has been reduced. Does anyone know the details?

  13. Pierre Portelli says:

    While I agree that the sentence should have been harder, the embarrassment this man had to, and will continue to, go through is huge.

    A petty thief will roam the streets unnoticed and easily rebuild his/her life once released, but when one falls from such a high position the crash is more painful.

    • P Shaw says:

      Oh poor guy – is society to blame?

      He should have considered the embarrassment before committing the crime.

    • Kenneth Cassar says:

      Should we cry?

    • Jo says:

      Serves him right, Pierre. This episode and what is happening in our courts represent a travesty of justice.

      Two weights and two measures seems to be the rule now.

      As mentioned in another comment, the sentence meted out to this person should have been a harsher one.

      Il-forka ghall-isventurat is very apt.

    • La Redoute says:

      He didn’t seem at all embarrassed, swanning around shamelessly as though he’d done nothing wrong.

      What’s the source of his embarrassment, anyway? That he was caught?

      Shame would be more becoming, particularly when so many people have died, at least partly because of his careless, self-centred behaviour.

    • Joseph C Galea says:

      most sensible comment only to be understood by those who are human

  14. M - A says:

    Nisthi nghid li jien Malti.

  15. Grezz says:

    I’m taking the liberty of “lifting” this comment from

    “A. Farrugia

    Today, 11:53

    While this ex-judge whose 33-month conviction to MCH was “one of the blackest days” for our justice system, just a few days ago a 16-year old KID who had already spent YEARS of his life in Mt Carmel reportedly got 36 months for PICKPOCKETING even though he admitted everything immediately… Is it possible that the only way our country can treat children without parental care, is to lock them up? Who the heck is writing our laws?

    “A 16-year-old boy, who spent most of his life at Mount Carmel Hospital, was jailed for 36 months after he admitted to 12 counts of theft in St Julians this summer. […] The boy […] pleaded guilty to involvement in thefts from 12 people, mostly foreigners, in St Julians over the past three months. [… He] formed part of a group of young people who had been pick-pocketing in the Paceville area.”

    • il-Ginger says:

      That comment is evidence that our legal system is corrupt and no longer serving its purpose. It’s no longer a matter of opinion, but a cold hard fact.

  16. One flew over the cuckoo's nest and dropped in for 22 months says:

    Next: hire a ghostwriter.

  17. Leonard says:

    Twenty-two months is a very short period of time. Ask Alfred Sant.

  18. Dee says:

    The law courts in Malta are fast becoming a laughing stock.

    As if it is not enough that the future minister of justice and his sister (a magistrate, no less) make headline news for the wrong reasons, we now have an ex-chief justice who is being seen to have practically given the third finger sign to Lady Justice.

    What an utter disgrace.

  19. silvio says:

    I think it is now time to put an end to this saga.

    The man has served his sentence, he made mistakes and he paid for them.

    So now as Christians we should leave him alone and let him live his remaining years in peace.

    If only Fenech Adami had paid attention to all those who had warned him that he was not the right man for the position of Chief Justice, all this would not have happened, but as we say WARA KULLHADD BRAVU.

    • H.P. Baxxter says:

      Christians? Speak for yourself.

    • Harry Purdie says:

      ‘Paid for them’? By ‘recuperating’ in the looney bin? Remember, some are more equal than others in the animal farm.

    • Grezz says:

      Some mistakes!

      • silvio says:

        We are all surprised and disappointed that he is out only after 22 months.

        What should worry us is that the 33 months he got was actually the maximum contemplated by law.

        I would expect that crimes like this should carry a much bigger sentence considering that a 16 year old was sent down for 36 months for petty thefts.

    • Kenneth Cassar says:

      “The man has served his sentence, he made mistakes and he paid for them”.

      No he didn’t, and that’s the whole bloody point.

      • JoeM says:

        No, Silvio. This is only another part of the whole process.

        First, you make the headlines when a crime you committed is discovered.

        Second, you are in the news when you are arraigned.

        Third, you are in the limelight when the trial by jury or other court proceedings take their course.

        Fourth, you’re the talk of the town when you’re released from detention.

        This process might be short, but in many cases in Malta it takes many years. Each and every step of the process is painful for the person involved, but it provides examples for life to the rest of us who follow, and who are shocked by the extent of the crime committed.

        I hope that the last step, the discussion after the release from detention, is dragged on as long as possible, so that it will be as painful as possible to Arrigo, and serve as a reminder to the rest of us that crimes against society should be punished accordingly.

        Lest we forget.

    • La Redoute says:

      He paid for no such thing. The taxpayer paid for his incarceration, such as it was, and other people have paid with their lives because he exploited his position as chief justice.

      What, exactly, has he paid? And to whom and when?

  20. Dee says:


    Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando
    There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living

    77 people like this.

    He lifted it from a guy called Lacrosse who posted here, WITHOUT SO MUCH AS A “THANK YOU”.

  21. maryanne says:

    Why wasn’t it a news item on the 8 o’clock PBS news?

  22. NGT says:

    From This man really gets on my proverbials.

    Peppi Azzopardi (on the subject of Noel Arrigo)

    “Tafu kemm niltaqa ma nies li jihamqbu ghax iridu n nies il-habs u sahasitra lesti jarmu c-cavetta IZDA kif tinbidel l istorja meta jkun iz-ziju, huha, bintu, huh, ibnu. Kemm jibdew icemplu biex naghmlu programm dwar it-trattament hazin fil-habs. Kif jinbidlu l affarijiet. Meta mmur il-habs dejjem nilmah lil hija, lil missieri, lili nnifsi fil-prigunieri.

    Nixtieq inkun naf kieku Dr Noel Arrigo kien missier, hu jew in nannu ta dawn li qed jiktbu jitkazaw u jixtiequ l-vendetta, x kienu qed jiktbu bhalissa. Tiskanta u titnixxef kif kienu jbiddlu d diska….

    Noghxew nikkundannaw ghax inhossnu li l-istess kundanna tahbi dnubietna.”

    [Daphne – The only proper response to such misplaced empathy is that most of us grew up with fathers and grandfathers and even uncles who would never have done anything of the sort.]

    • Dee says:

      Mr Azzopardi would respond otherwise if a close relative of his lost his/ her life thanks to the fall out of drug-related criminality.

    • Kenneth Cassar says:

      I wonder why Peppi never attacked Noel Arrigo for “throwing people into prison”.

      And what’s up with this “Dr Noel Arrigo” bullshit. The man is Noel Arrigo. Calling him “Dr” is an insult to honest people working in the profession he disgraced.

      And no, dear Peppi. I’ve never taken bribes from hardened criminals.

      No wonder Xarabank is so mediocre.

  23. Erasmus says:

    A couple of points:

    1. According to Dr. Joe Brincat LLD ( the Times online comments) the maximum sentence envisaged by the law for the crime Dr. Arrigo was found guilty of is three years. It was also his first offence. In those circumstances 33 months seems to be a pretty fair sentence.

    2. Do any of you lot lamenting the fact the he spent the time at the Forensic Unit rather than at Corradino Correctional Facility have any idea what the Forensic Unit is like? Someone wrote that it is some sort of maisonette. It’s nothing of the sort. It’s obviously preferable to Corradino Prisons, but it’s no country-house environment; just another overcrowded unit which affords a modicum of extra freedom ( for example, less time spent in cells) to inmates.

    • La Redoute says:

      Do you, Erasmus, know what life is like for people involved with fighting drug addiction?

    • Kenneth Cassar says:

      @ Erasmus:

      “(the Forensic Unit is) just another overcrowded unit which affords a modicum of extra freedom – for example, less time spent in cells – to inmates”.

      Yes, the extra freedom not conceded to people who have committed far lesser crimes than Noel Arrigo.

      • Erasmus says:

        The gravity of the crime is absolutely irrelevant to whether one is sent to the Forensic Unit or not.

      • Grezz says:

        @ Erasmus – Oh, stop trying to justify his being sent there! He should have served time in PRISON (yes, amongst the people he himself put there, some for even lesser crimes than his own).

      • Kenneth Cassar says:

        @ Erasmus:

        “The gravity of the crime is absolutely irrelevant to whether one is sent to the Forensic Unit or not”.

        Of course not. But the reason why he was sent there is very relevant.

  24. Grezz says:

    Peppi Azzopardi is out in full force in Arrigo’s defence here, without so much as mentioning his name.

    Absolutely sickening.

    • maryanne says:

      Most people confuse forgiveness with justice. Leave forgiveness to his family.

      They were the ones to suffer needlessly because of his greed.

      But we expect justice to be done and to be seen to be done.

      When Noel Arrigo was a judge, he sent people to prison and not to do community work.

      He should have been kept at Corradino.

      Community work should be given to drug offenders and not to experienced judges.

      Dr. Joe Brincat said that when the likes of Noel Arrigo go to prison, they create problems for the prison authorities.

      That is another question altogether. Prison authorities need to have a strong security and administrative system in place.

      If that is the problem, you don’t solve it by keeping high-profile prisoners at Mount Carmel Hospital.

      • dudu says:

        ‘They were the ones to suffer needlessly because of his greed.’

        There were also the ones who presumably enjoyed the benefits that resulted from such greed.

  25. Anthony says:

    Arrigo will now do a Saddam (or a Gaddafi) and retreat to a hole in the ground for the rest of his life.

    If he does not do exactly this, then he really deserved to be at Mount Carmel rather than at CCF.

    • Peppi iehor says:

      Are you sure about that, Anthony? I suspect that Peppi is preparing for another Xarabank exclusive, by pretending to stick up for Arrigo on the internet.

      Is the judge gullible enough? Has he been missing the attention of the media while doing his time?

  26. Macduff says:

    Yeah, right – as if Noel Arrigo stayed with other inpatients at Mount Carmel Hospital.

    He had his own personal quarters, complete with a private access for his visitors.

  27. sherpa says:

    Noel Arrigo is despicable.

  28. red nose says:

    We have to wait and see what the future holds for our courts.

  29. Chris Mifsud says:

    Whilst I agree that 22 months is not all that much for such a high profile crime I think that living with what he did, and his reputation in ruins is punishment enough.

    All these people who keep saying that Dr. Arrigo should have been sent to Corradino do not know what they are saying. Does anyone have any idea what the inmates there would do to him?

    At the end of the day for whatever reason, be it greed or whatever Dr. Arrigo let down the justice system and let down Malta, but that does not make him a bad person.

  30. *1981* says:

    Patrick did not retire in a hole.. saw him relaxed having a drink in Bugibba a few weeks ago.. didnt see him to be too depressed .. or in hiding

  31. <>

    So did that mean that his family were saved the humiliation of having to queue with the other visitors outside Corradino ?

  32. maryanne says:

    @ dudu
    “There were also the ones who presumably enjoyed the benefits that resulted from such greed.”

    I prefer to give his family the benefit of the doubt. Maybe his wife and children weren’t aware of his dealings. He had his private business and they wouldn’t have to ask where the money is coming from.

  33. Peppi iehor says:

    I posted Daphne’s penultimate paragraph (above) to the comments-board asking if it is true that he used to pinch women’s bottoms and make inappropriate remarks to ‘serviceable’ women.

    Surprise, surprise! It did not appear.

    I posted it because I thought someone was about to recommend beatification.

    I have come to understand that editors or moderators have their own allegiances and will scupper any comment that makes them look bad, foolish or stupid.

    • Kenneth Cassar says:

      If I were the editor or moderator at The Times, I wouldn’t publish it either. Not unless I was provided with some evidence.

      Daphne’s blog is another question. It is her own blog (she is entitled to take risks) and she might even have the evidence (or know someone who does).

Leave a Comment