Accused 'stamped on fallen marine'

2014-09-08 18:23
Brett Williams

Brett Williams

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Durban - One of the four men accused of killing a former Royal Marine held onto two people so that he could stamp on the fallen marine with force, a witness told the Durban Regional Court on Monday.

Timothy Crichton, who was giving evidence in the case of four men accused of beating Brett Williams to death, said: "I didn't see how the deceased fell back, but I did see the accused kicking him when he was down."

Blayne Shepard, 23, his brother Kyle, 25, along with Andries van der Merwe, 23, and Dustin van Wyk, 23, each face a charge of murder, three of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and one of crimen injuria.

They are accused of beating Williams to death outside Kings Park stadium on the night of 23 March last year, after the Sharks beat the Melbourne Rebels in a Super Rugby match.

Crichton, a plumbing apprentice, said he and Williams had exchanged words after Williams had sworn at him when he refused to give the former marine a cigarette.

However, his girlfriend Jessica Brown calmed the situation on the night of 23 March 2013, with Williams offering him a hand.

"I don't know what she said to him, but it did calm him down and he put his hand out to say sorry for being aggressive. But the way I was feeling, I didn't shake his hand," said Crichton.

Williams walked away, but moments later Crichton said he saw the former marine and Grant Cramer become embroiled in a fight.

He said in that fight Cramer had managed to grab Williams in a chokehold after which Williams fell to the floor.

"I remember that the deceased threw the first punch," he said.

He said that a paramedic then revived Williams.

"I remember seeing the deceased getting up."

It was at that stage that he saw Kyle Shepard and Williams exchange words.

"I saw him [Williams] move his lips and they got into a fight. I saw accused number two holding onto accused number one and another person and kicking with force."

He then demonstrated to the court how Kyle Shepard had stamped on Williams.

"I saw accused number four. He picked up a slab of concrete, like a piece of paving. I didn't see what he did with it. I turned away."


Under cross-examination from Christo van Schalkwyk, for the Shepard brothers, Crichton said after the fatal fight everything from that night was "a blur".

He could not remember how he arrived home or who took him home.

"I don't think I passed out. Maybe when I got to bed."

He said he had at least five double brandies with coke on the night.

He could only remember the Shepard brothers and Van Wyk being involved in the fight, and had no recollection of Van der Merwe being involved.

Van Schalkwyk questioned Crichton over inconsistencies between his evidence and what appeared in his statement, as well as several items that appeared to have been deleted from his statement.

Crichton said apart from Van Wyk, he did not know the names of the Shepard brothers, but could not explain how it was that their names appeared in his statement.

Four different altercations

Earlier the court heard that Williams may have been involved in as many as four altercations that night.

Warrant Officer Craig Bekker, the first police officer to arrive at the stadium where Williams was declared dead by paramedics, said: "We were led to believe that there were four different confrontations."

Bekker said the first incident involving Williams took place in a bar called "One Stop" in the stadium.

He said: "The initial information was that he was interfering with a certain white woman by the person of Cooper.

"The final assault occurred where we found him."

He could not recall from whom he had received all the information about the four altercations.

He said bouncers at the "One Stop" bar confirmed the initial incident involving Williams.

Bekker said bouncers had also apparently instructed Williams to put on his shirt at the "One Stop" bar.

In March, the court heard that Cramer had held Williams in a chokehold during one altercation with Williams. The court also previously heard that Cramer's girlfriend was Kirsten Cooper.

Cramer, who was a best friend and former gym partner of Blayne Shepard, was initially charged with assault, but has denied being part of the final beating that led to Williams' death.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    brett williams  |  durban  |  crime

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