‘Rape-accused cop is fragile’ court is told

2013-10-28 00:00

THE mental state of a Pietermaritzburg policeman charged with rape and attempted murder was described as “fragile” by his advocate in the magistrate’s court on Friday.

The 45-year-old warrant officer, whose name cannot be published until he has formally pleaded to the rape charge, was hospitalised a week earlier after he allegedly took an overdose of medication.

He is currently applying for bail.

Advocate Brad Osborne, who is representing the accused, told magistrate Ashin Singh on Friday that his client’s mental state is fragile.

Osborne said the accused had been due to undergo treatment at a mental health facility for at least a month, but on the day that he was due to start his treatment, the police chose to arrest him.

He said the delay in getting treatment was prejudicial to the accused, who has been in custody since October 2.

Osborne said his client has 24 years’ service with the SAPS and has a clean record.

He has no pending cases or previous convictions.

He argued that the state has not shown any reasons why it is opposing his bail in the case.

“I submit that my client is not a flight risk. He is not a threat to any witnesses and nor can he interfere with any exhibits,” he said.

“Because someone has mental health issues does not mean they should be denied bail,” he added.

Singh agreed to grant the state a postponement until today to submit additional reasons for opposing bail. He said he had to be certain that the accused did not pose a risk to the public if he were to be released on bail.

The accused, who is a member of the stock theft unit, is charged with rape and attempted murder of a 31-year-old woman at Hilton on June 14.

He is accused of stabbing the victim with a knife during the incident.

He is also charged with robbing her of two cellphones.

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