Dad ‘killer’ feels crowded

2017-05-02 06:01

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The father accused of killing his three-year-old twins says he is barely coping with the conditions at Pollsmoor ­prison.

The 48-year-old Spaniard was arrested in Wynberg shortly after the bodies of his children were found in Hout Bay.

His defence attorney, William Booth, said in court last week the man wrote a letter detailing how he is struggling because of the crowded conditions at Pollsmoor.

“Where he is it’s crowded, [there is] too much smoke and noise; he can’t even sleep. He says he even finds it difficult to still his head because of the noise. The facility where he is, is crowded with about 25 people, yet it’s only supposed to house a quarter of that number. Conditions in the prisons remain the same and it really makes it difficult for us to consult and really get to our clients,” he told the judge.

There had been a request to keep the accused in a single cell but it was turned down as the prison nurses were worried that he was suicidal.

The accused, who looked drained and was dressed in a black long-sleeved t-shirt and jeans, could not stand in the dock but had to sit down when he appeared last Tuesday at Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.

Addressing magistrate Goolam Bowa during the man’s second appearance in court, Booth said the accused was not seen by a psychiatrist as Bowa had ordered so that so that he could be assessed, because there were continuous interruptions by correctional services.

“There wasn’t a private time to allow consultation, which is of great concern. If there should be consultations with clients it has to be done in an environment with is conducive, which allows for emotional and physical peace. But that didn’t happen.

“There has to be the right environment and under the right circumstances but that was difficult,” Booth said.

“There are serious concerns about where he is being housed. It is in his best interest that he is housed in a place which will help with his mental health state.”

The state representative said prison officials had been very helpful and if there were problems, Booth should have highlighted them sooner and they would have been addressed quickly. He also said the man had received opportunities to raise concerns.

The consultation with the psychiatrist was apparently done later that day at Victoria Hospital.

Booth added that he had not been given the evidence on the accused’s state of mind when he was arrested.

“This places me and the psychiatrist in an awkward position. We have to know his emotional and physical state, we requested that information and we haven’t got it yet. It sets us on a back foot as we are sure that the case deals with the emotional state of the accused and it’s important that we have that information.”

The case was postponed until Wednesday 10 May for the assessment to be concluded.

The accused remains in custody.

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