English intruder pays admission of guilt fine

2010-06-30 11:25

The English soccer fan who got into his team’s dressing room after

a game in Cape Town earlier this month has paid a R750 admission of guilt

fine.

And the case against the journalist who interviewed him after the

incident has been postponed to July 7.

The fan, Pavlos Joseph, was not in the city’s special World Cup

Court when his case was called today.

His advocate, Craig Webster, told Magistrate Grant Engel that

representations had been made to the Western Cape Director of Public

Prosecutions (DPP) on Joseph’s behalf.

These representations had been successful in that the DPP had

agreed to allow him to pay an admission of guilt fine.

Webster said Joseph had paid the R750 yesterday for a contravention

of the World Cup’s special Fifa legislation, for being in a designated area

without accreditation.

Prosecutor Fiona Cloete confirmed to Engel that the fine was

paid.

After the June 18 incident, British newspaper the Sunday Mirror

reported Joseph as saying he had been looking for a toilet after the game in

which England drew 0-0 with Algeria.

It quoted him as saying he saw former England captain David Beckham

in the change rooms, told him he needed a toilet, then added: “David, we’ve

spent a lot of money getting here. This is a disgrace. What are you going to do

about it?”

Following his arrest, Joseph was banned from further cup

matches.

After Joseph’s case was dealt with on today, the Sunday Mirror

journalist who interviewed Joseph, Simon Wright, appeared in the same

court.

Magistrate Engel postponed the case to July 7 and extended Wright’s

bail of R3 000.

Wright had earlier surrendered his passport to police and as part

of his bail conditions has been ordered to have no contact with employees of the

city’s Bay Hotel and has to report daily to the Cape Town Police Station.

Police arrested Wright, who works for the Sunday Mirror, on Monday

in connection with the Joseph incident.

According to the court docket, he has been charged with “defeating

or obstructing the administration of justice” and contravening the Immigration

Act.

The immigration charge says it is related to “providing false

particulars”.

Wright’s lawyer William Booth told Engel that he had not seen a

formal charge sheet but that he intended to make representations for the

withdrawal of charges against his client.

Included in the representations would be a response to the charges

and to the basis on which Wright was arrested.

Booth also hit out at national Police Commissioner General Bheki

Cele, who yesterday told journalists that Joseph’s entry to the dressing room

was a plot “orchestrated” with Wright to paint World Cup security in a bad

light.

Booth said that because the case was sub judice, comments on the

merits should not be made at this stage.

“We regard them as very serious and we submit they should not have

been made,” he said.

“Obviously my client feels rather aggrieved.”

Speaking to reporters outside the court room afterwards, Booth said

there had been no prior arrangement between Wright and Joseph, and Wright’s

contact with the fan had been an interview in the course of his business as a

senior journalist.

At the time he spoke to Joseph there had been no warrant out for

Joseph’s arrest. The police had merely wanted to question him.

“There was no intention at all to harbour a fugitive from justice,

if Mr Joseph was a fugitive from justice,” he said.

Wright, who was mobbed by photographers and television cameramen as

he left the court, declined to speak to the media.

 

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