Court views footage of petrol bombing

2011-08-03 18:13
Cape Town - The Cape Town Regional Court viewed closed-circuit television footage on Wednesday of a man, allegedly Shumsheer Singh Ghumman, throwing two petrol bombs at a house in Clifton.

The bombs, wine bottles filled with petrol, were thrown onto the balcony of the house where company executive Philip Rhind lived with his wife Deborah.

The word "Hannah" was written on a piece of tape on one of the bottles.

Hannah, 29, is Rhind's daughter. She works in the United Kingdom as a public relations executive.

The footage was shown at Ghumman's trial, before Magistrate Herman Pieters, on charges of fraud, incitement to commit murder, attempted murder and malicious injury to property.

Sped away

The footage, taken from a block of flats adjoining the Rhind home, shows a car reversing into a parking bay nearby in the early hours.

A man gets out of the car and walks toward the Rhind home. The next moment there is a flash on the balcony and flames which reach the roof.

Seconds later there is a second flash on the balcony and more flames reaching up to the roof.

Moments later, the man is seen running back to the parked car, jumping into it and speeding away.

The incident happened in the early hours of January 14, after Rhind and his wife had returned from a dinner party and gone to bed.

Philip Rhind told the court he did not hear the two bottles exploding, but they activated the security alarm, which woke him up.

He went back to sleep after his wife said the family cat had triggered the alarm.

Tyres slashed

"The next morning, my wife said something was smelling, and she then realised there had been a fire on the patio during the night," Rhind said.

"Thank heavens my wife, at 03:00 in the night, did not look out of the window."

Rhind said he went outside to see if there was any further damage and found that three tyres of his wife's car had been slashed.

Rhind said he last saw Ghumman in London.

Hannah Rhind was granted a restraining order against Ghumman in December 2009 by a Westminster court.

In August 2010, he was found guilty of harassing her father and was sentenced to a fine and 180 hours of community service.

The trial continues.

- SAPA
Read more on:    shumsheer singh ghumman  |  cape town
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