Foord trial resumes

2009-03-03 00:00

FRIENDS and family of Hillcrest resident Jessica Foord, who was raped by four men, donned T-shirts and held candles to support her as the trial of her alleged attackers started in the Durban High Court yesterday.

A confident-looking Foord chatted to family and pupils from Hillcrest High School on the steps of the court before the trial began.

She politely declined to speak to the media about the trial and said she will make a full statement once the trial is over.

The start of the trial is significant for Foord and her family as it marks the first anniversary of the brutal attack on her and her father Tim.

Her parents were among those who wore Powar (Protect Our Women Against Rape) T-shirts and carried candles.

Foord and her father were walking their dogs at the Polo Pony Dam in Hillcrest when they were attacked by five men armed with guns and knives.

She was raped repeatedly by four men while her father was tied and forced to watch.

According to the indictment, Foord and her father were forced into a ditch where his arms and legs were bound with a rope and he was tied to a tree.

Four men then raped Foord while a fifth suspect watched her father.

The rapists also stole two cellphones, watches and silver jewellery and fled in the Foords’ Isuzu bakkie.

The four accused, who cannot be named at this stage, have been charged with rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances and sexual assault.

The indictment states that each accused is guilty of rape and sexual assault as they all kept watch during the rape and assault and remained in the vicinity where the attack was taking place.

Last year, a fifth accused was found guilty of rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances and sentenced to 17 years in prison. He will serve some of the time in a juvenile facility.

For the trial, the state intends calling 16 witnesses, including Foord and her father, several policemen and the district surgeon.

Judge Vivienne Niles-Duner said the trial will be held in camera unless Foord requests the presence of certain people in the courtroom.

The case continues today.

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