Stabbing: ‘l couldn’t breathe’

2011-09-08 00:00

A RICHMOND farming couple, Anthony (67) and Caroline Morris (65), described in the high court in Pietermaritzburg yesterday how they were brutally attacked while asleep by intruders who broke into their home on Maywood farm in the early hours of November 29, 2009.

Anthony Morris was stabbed 10 times in his neck, chest, head and back and both his lungs were punctured, according to the state’s indictment.

His wife sustained a fractured skull and stab wounds to her finger, hand and upper arm.

On trial for the incident are Bhani Dlamini (25) and Skhumbuzo Sithole (23) who both pleaded not guilty.

Caroline Morris told Judge Esther Steyn and an assessor that she cannot recall anything that happened after a certain point during the attack.

She was hospitalised for some three months afterwards and had to be taught how to walk again. On her return home she had needed a lot of help from her husband.

She also underwent two operations to try to repair nerve damage to her left eyelid. The eye is now partly open, but according to specialists nothing further can be done to heal it completely, she said.

The couple said they had heard what sounded like breaking glass shortly after going to bed, but found nothing amiss.

Morris said he woke again at 2.30 am to find a man on top of him, throttling him. Another was sitting on top of his wife.

“I was trying to get air and pulling his hands away from my throat … At the end of the bed I saw another accused [attacker] with a black hood over his head,” he said.

The men stabbed him while demanding money and firearms, threatening to kill him on various occasions. When he prayed out loud they told him to be quiet or they would kill him, he said.

They found money, a .38 revolver and handcuffs in a drawer next to the bed and opened the two safes in which firearms and money were kept. They placed the money and bullets into a pillow case.

“At that time they made me sit up and tied my hands and feet with electric cable … They then stabbed me in my back. After that I found it very difficult to breathe,” said Morris. He did not see the men assault his wife, who was behind him, but observed a man next to the bed with a knobkierrie. She fell out of the bed.

After the robbers left Morris managed to reach a cottage on the farm occupied by the Evans couple.

“I couldn’t call them because I had no air but they woke up and found me [standing] on the lawn,” he said.

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