‘Dance floor’ murder accused Cara to learn his fate on June?3

2014-03-05 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG’S “dance floor” murder accused, Sherwin Cara (24) will learn his fate on June 3 when judgment is to be delivered.

Cara is charged with the murder of Juran Raman, who was cut or stabbed in the neck whilst on the dance floor of the Vacca Matta nightclub at Golden Horse casino in the early hours of March 26, 2011.

In his evidence, Cara alleged Raman fell and cut himself on a piece of broken glass.

However, the prosecution maintains that Cara allegedly stabbed Raman in the neck with a broken tumbler after the two were involved in an altercation.

Raman died in hospital.

State prosecutor Rene Padayachee has urged regional court magistrate Fikile Luvuno to accept the evidence of a single eyewitness, Jason Pillay, who testified he saw Cara stabbing the victim in the neck.

Padayachee said the court should also accept the testimony of specialist surgeon Andrew Tudor, who tried to save Raman’s life and who said it was “highly improbable” that Raman’s injury could have been caused by falling on broken glass. Tudor said the eight centimetre wound went “almost to the spine at the back of the neck”, and that a good deal of force was needed to inflict it.

Padayachee said Tudor’s evidence had to be preferred to that of private specialist forensic pathologist Reggie Perumal, who based his opinion that Raman could have been injured by falling on broken glass on a “piece of paper” (the postmortem report). He had never inspected the wound himself.

“Cara also admitted in his evidence that Perumal was paid to testify in the case,” she said.

Defence advocate Gideon Scheltema SC said the functions of a surgeon and a forensic pathologist were very different. A forensic pathologist is trained to analyse wounds and how they are caused, while a surgeon is trained to save lives.

Scheltema, who previously objected strongly to Padayachee’s submissions that Perumal was hired by the defence to testify, yesterday urged her to “tread cautiously” where a man’s professional reputation was at stake. He said it was never suggested to Perumal in cross examination that he was influenced by money to testify.

When Padayachee first made the submission late last year it led to the case being adjourned. When contacted at the time, Perumal — who is well known for his testimony in high-profile trials and who is also likely to testify in the Oscar Pistorious trial — dismissed the submission as a “cheap shot”.

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