Publicity hurts Aussie 'stalker'

2011-02-24 19:13
Cape Town - Publicity in South Africa has impacted severely on alleged Australian stalker Shumsheer Singh Ghumman, the Cape Town Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.

Ghumman, 32, a chartered accountant employed as a fund manager for a major investment bank in the United Kingdom, was making his sixth court appearance on charges including conspiracy to commit murder.

He has been in custody for longer than a month in Cape Town, and was recently convicted of harassment in the UK, for stalking a female friend Hannah Rhind, who he met in the UK two years ago.

The charge sheet gives his address as Cavendish Road, London.

At Thursday's proceedings, senior counsel Billy Downer, of the Western Cape directorate for public prosecutions, said an identity parade was held late on Wednesday.

Ghumman also faces charges of attempted murder, arson and malicious damage.

On the arson and malicious damage charges, he is alleged to have petrol-bombed the Rhind's family home in Clifton.

At Thursday's proceedings, Downer said the identity parade had been positive, and requested a postponement to March 18 for further investigation.

UK investigation

Downer said Ghumman was a UK resident, and there were aspects in the UK that needed to be investigated for the South African case.

He asked for Ghumman to be transferred from the Cape Town police holding cells to the Goodwood Prison.

Should Ghumman decide to launch a bail application at any stage, it would be opposed, Downer said.

The defence team, Advocate Philip Higgo and attorney Gerhard van der Merwe, gave the court a lengthy history of abortive identity parades and said the one held on Wednesday had been "farcical".

Higgo said this was due to the many photographs of Ghumman that had appeared in the media.

Downer said this was irrelevant to the proceedings and that the State disputed much of what Higgo was saying.

Higgo said there were no plans for a bail application, but that Ghumman's family in the UK was gravely concerned that he was being tried by the media instead of a court of law.

Downer said the State was still open to plea-bargain proceedings, which would involve a plea of guilty and the sentence.

Magistrate Juhstree Steyn said his court was exclusively for first appearances and bail applications, and that Ghumman's next appearance would take place in a different courtroom.
Read more on:    cape town

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.