Montecasino murder: Former stripper's memory fuzzy on SMSes

2015-04-23 16:23
(Adam Wakefield, News24)

(Adam Wakefield, News24)

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Johannesburg - The mystery surrounding Dustan Blom's death deepened in a Johannesburg court on Thursday when Marushcka Robinson, who with JP Malan is accused of killing Blom, could not remember the contents of certain SMSes sent between herself and Malan on the morning Blom died.

Blom's body was found in the boot of his car on September 22 2013, at Montecasino in Fourways, Johannesburg.

The matter was being heard in the High Court in Johannesburg sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court, before Judge Delize Smith.

Malan's lawyer, JP Marais, began his cross-examination of Robinson by asking her whether it would have been to her and Malan's benefit that Blom died since the pair had regularly stolen Blom's bank card to draw money.

"So it was not in your interest or accused number two's [Malan's] interest to kill the deceased?" Marais asked.

"That is correct," Robinson said.

Marais later moved on to a series of SMSes sent between Robinson and Malan over the course of September 18, the day that Blom died and according to Robinson's testimony, the same day they moved Blom's limp body into the boot of his car.

"Now let's get back to the SMSes and phone calls for that period. The first SMS is... the one for 05:34 [on September 18]. At this stage, accused number two [Malan] had already left? Gotten into his car and driven off?" Marais asked.

"That is correct," Robinson replied.

"How long after he had left did you send this message?" Marais said.

"I can't be specific about times. I can't be 100% sure," Robinson said.

She told the court that when they had previously stolen Blom's bankcard, after spiking his wine with the drug GHB, Malan had normally taken between 25 and 30 minutes to come back.

Marais asked: "The message was, 'What must I do?' What must I do about what?"

"Because if Dustan wakes up, and accused number two isn't back with his card," Robinson said.

Marais then said to Robinson: "Then immediately after that we see on the phone records, 05:34, 27 seconds, you see... an SMS from accused no two [Malan] to you... a few seconds after your text him 'What must I do?', there was a text from him to you."

‘I don’t remember’

With the contents of that reply being unavailable, Marais asked Robinson what that SMS was all about.

"No I don't. I can't remember," she replied.

Marais, looking at phone records, then asked: "Then... you phoned out, you phoned him?"

Robinson replied in an unsure fashion: "Accused number two? I don't remember, but ok."

"And then... he [Malan] called you again. Can you remember what those conversations were about?" Marais said.

"No I don't," Robinson replied.

"Because the next SMS 05:53, 12 seconds, can you read that SMS to us please," Marais said.

"'Does he know it was you?'," Robinson said.

"'Does he know it was you?' in relation to what?" Marais asked.

Robinson replied "I sent accused number two [that] in case Dustan woke up and he saw him put him in a sleeper hold."

Marais asked Smith for a moment to speak to Malan, which was granted, before returning to the lectern and telling the court: "Accused number two [Malan] says he phoned you to say that he suspects Dustan had seen him leaving the premises and that is why you asked him in that text, 'Does he know it was you?'"

Robinson replied: "No, I don't remember that."

Telephone conversation questioned

As Marais continued cross-examining Robinson through the morning and early afternoon before court was adjourned, a theme developed where Robinson could not remember the details of any SMS that had not been transcribed.

During Robinson's testimony, Malan showed little emotion.

Earlier, Penton asked Robinson about a phone conversation she had with Blom's friend Ryan Pickford on September 22, the day Blom's body was found, where Pickford had pressed Robinson for answers as to the whereabouts of Blom.

"Why did you suggest to Ryan Pickford that you meet him? What did you want to do at that stage?" Penton asked Robinson.

"I wanted to speak to Ryan. I remember a time Dustan told me that if anything happened to him, the first person I must call is Ryan. I wanted to tell Ryan what happened," she told the court.

Penton asked her why she wanted to disclose what happened. The former Lollipop Lounge dancer replied: "I don't know. I just felt like I needed to."

Smith postponed the case to Friday morning, when Marais will continue his cross-examination of Robinson.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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