Media barred as psycholgist gives evidence

2012-03-15 00:00

THE media have been barred from reporting the evidence of a psychologist treating former conveyancing secretary Candida du Plessis (39), who last week pleaded guilty to theft of R1,2 million from the firm Stowell & Company.

Her advocate, Gideon Scheltema SC, yesterday applied to the regional court to hear the evidence of her psychologist — who is testifying in mitigation of sentence on her behalf — in camera.

He also asked for an order barring publication of any of the evidence or the psychologist’s report.

The basis for the application was that publication of the evidence would not be in the interests of the accused’s four-year-old child, now or in future, and was also “not in the interests of justice”.

Regional court magistrate Jennifer Anthoo granted the application after the prosecutor said he was not opposed to it.

The in camera ruling applies only to the psychologist’s evidence.

Du Plessis admitted in a written plea statement handed in to court last Friday that she stole R1 212 526,51 from the law firm from July 2008 to July 2011.

Part of her duties as conveyancing secretary at the time were to request payments from the firm’s trust and business accounts.

The case has been postponed to March 27.

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