Sheik dodges prison, again

2010-12-07 00:00

DURBAN’S Blue Light Stalker, Ismail Sheik, has yet again delayed starting his 21-year prison sentence.

A new lawyer filed an application to have Sheik’s appeal put back on the roll yesterday morning. The urgent application was filed in high court in Pietermaritzburg.

Sheik was sentenced to jail by the Durban Magistrate’s Court at the beginning of 2007 after he was convicted on two counts of indecent assault, three counts of defeating the ends of justice and two counts of kidnapping two women.

He appealed against the sentence.

On Friday Pietermaritzburg Judge Trevor Govern and Judge Leona Theron struck Sheik’s appeal off the roll and ordered that he report to the Department of Correctional Service to begin his sentence by noon yesterday.

Their decision came after Sheik had requested that his appeal be postponed until yesterday to give his new lawyer enough time to prepare for the arguments.

He said he could not argue his appeal without a lawyer.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson said yesterday that Sheik’s lawyer arrived at the high court and applied for the appeal hearing to be put back on the roll.

The hearing will take place on Thursday.

Ramkisson said Sheik was present when his lawyer, whose name is not known to her, arrived.

“His bail was extended to Thursday. He has a right to make an appeal and we have to respect that,” said Ramkisson.

Sheik, a former police reservist, has now spent R650 000 on legal fees in an attempt to avoid imprisonment.

He told the court that since he was convicted in March 2007 his name was tainted so much that no one wants to employ him.

In tears, he told the two judges that he had been trying to pay his legal fees even by working as a dog trainer at R200 a day.

During the trial police psychologist Dr Gerhard Labuschagne described Sheik as a “serial sexual offender”.

It was found that he followed his victims in a white VW Citi Golf at night, flashing a blue light to pull them over.

He would then force his vitims into his vehicle and drive away to molest them.

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