A WOMAN from Portsmouth is facing time in a Maltese jail after being accused of stealing luggage at an airport.
But Shannon-Leigh Williams, 19, denies the charge of theft, claiming it was all ‘a mistake’.
I’m telling you it was a mistake.Shannon-Leigh Williams
Prosecutor police inspector Silvio Magro told a Maltese Magistrates’ Court Ms Williams stole a suitcase from the baggage claim area at Malta International Airport.
The Times of Malta reported that she was found out after being spotted by chance in the resort town of Xemxija by the couple who owned the suitcase.
The couple recognised the handbag she was carrying and trainers she was wearing as theirs, as they had been in the suitcase.
Ms Williams claimed she went to the airport to collect luggage that didn’t arrive when she flew over on a Ryanair flight in May.
She said the black suitcase with a blue band was similar to her own and she didn’t carefully check its contents at the airport’s baggage collection point.
The court was shown CCTV footage of Ms Williams taking the suitcase from the airport.
The Maltese couple it belonged to had just arrived on a Ryanair flight from Girona in Spain.
Ms Williams, who was not on the same flight, gained access to the airport’s baggage claim area after showing her passport to an on-duty soldier, claiming she was looking for her lost luggage.
Ms Williams said the suitcase held a handbag similar to her own and the other contents also looked similar at first glance.
The magistrate, Carol Peralta, showed her pictures of eight dresses in the stolen luggage and asked her: ‘Are you trying to tell me that you happen to have eight identical dresses to these?’
When Ms Williams nodded Ms Peralta told her she was being arrogant.
She also fined Ms Williams €200 for contempt of court when she refused to enter a plea, denied her request for bail and told her she was going to prison.
When Ms Peralta threatened to fine her even more Ms Williams said she was: ‘Not guilty.
‘I’m telling you it was a mistake.’
Ms Williams burst into tears and hurled an insult at the magistrate as she was being escorted from the courtroom.