Marine was the aggressor, court hears

2014-12-09 16:02

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Durban - Former British Royal Marine Brett Williams "aggressively" joined a group brawl and shouted profanities the night he was killed, the Durban Regional Court heard on Tuesday.

Blayne Shepard is accused of beating Williams to death outside Kings Park Stadium on the night of 23 March 2013, after the Sharks beat the Melbourne Rebels in a Super Rugby match.

He testified he did not touch Williams as he had "no beef" with him.

Shepard said his issue was with security guards he claimed had shoved him without reason.

On Monday he told the court security guards had taken offence at a comment by someone in his group of friends that security guards should be searched after a friend lost his necklace during a fight.

Shepard reiterated this on Tuesday, and added that he had pushed the guards in retaliation.

"Just because someone is labelled a security guard does not mean they are trained. They pushed me, so I pushed back," he said.

During the brawl Shepard said he noticed Williams get up from where he had been lying motionless and, after initially walking away, turn around and advance speedily towards the group. He said the Briton screamed "gaylord fuckers" at the group.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Krishen Shah and during questioning by Magistrate Trevor Levitt, Shepard said these words were the catalyst for the fight erupting into further chaos.

He maintained he did not see who Williams or anyone else was punching, nor did he see anyone assault Williams.

Shepard denied previous witness testimony that a "bald man in a pink shirt", a description of himself, had assaulted Williams.

He did admit though that numerous blows to the head could kill someone or result in brain damage.

After being accused by Shah of being "deliberately evasive" and constantly changing his story, Shepard was questioned at length by Levitt.

He told Levitt that Williams had appeared to be looking for trouble, and denied evidence from former co-accused Grant Cramer that he heard the Briton call his brother, also a former co-accused, a faggot.

When Levitt asked if Cramer's testimony was just "sucked from his thumb" and false, Shepard said it was.

Shepard was initially one of five friends accused of assaulting Williams to death, but now remains the only person charged with his murder.

Cramer turned State witness. The three others, Andries van der Merwe, Dustin van Wyk, and Shepard's older brother Kyle, were discharged last month.

Shepard would be re-examined by his advocate Christo van Schalkwyk after the lunch break.

 

Read more on:    brett williams  |  durban  |  crime

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