Court hears different sides to Panayiotou marriage

2016-10-12 17:26
Christopher Panayiotou (Derrick Spies, News24)

Christopher Panayiotou (Derrick Spies, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Port Elizabeth – Jayde Panayiotou was lonely in her marriage to the man on trial for her murder, her sister testified in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Wednesday.

Toni Inggs said she was aware of unhappiness in Jayde’s marriage to Christopher Panayiotou and had spoken to her about it.

Jayde told her she was incredibly lonely because she and Panayiotou lived separate lives.

She would wake up in the morning to get ready for work and he would still be asleep. He would only come home after she went to sleep, Inggs said to questions from prosecutor Marius Stander.

"Sadly, I defended Chris for the most part. I kept reassuring her that he was working hard and working late for them."

Stander asked if she was aware of Panayiotou’s affair with his store manager at the OK Grocer in Algoa Park, Chanelle Coutts.

"No, not at all. I did question a few things," she said, explaining that she wondered why he had forbidden Jayde from touching his cellphone.

Panayiotou, in a suit, did not look at Inggs.

'I don’t know how much more I can take'

Stander read from Jayde’s notebook, which was found in her dressing table.

"Every time I rip open my ribcage to release the butterflies, people are too busy swatting them away. I needed a hero so, I became one. All I have ever wanted is to be loved fully and completely," he read out.

"I don’t know if I can live this life. I don’t know how much more I can take. Why does he hide so much from me and why is it so impossible to communicate with him? I write these words 'cause I no longer have space inside. I may just explode."

Inggs said Jayde was happy at work and with her family. When Stander asked what her relationship was with her brother-in-law, she broke down in tears. The court had to adjourn briefly so she could compose herself.

Panayiotou, Sinethemba Nenembe and Zolani Sibeko are on trial on charges of conspiring, kidnapping, robbing, and killing Jayde, 29, on April 21 last year. They pleaded not guilty.

Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, believed to be the hitman hired by State witness Luthando Siyoni, died in a Port Elizabeth hospital in September. Siyoni worked as a bouncer at Panayiotou’s Infinity Cocktail Bar in Algoa Park.

'I want him put away for life'

During cross-examination, Panayiotou’s lawyer Terry Price countered her statements with the picture of a loving, thoughtful marriage.

He said Jayde was not the author of the poem and had taken it off the internet.

Price denied that Jayde was not allowed to access his phone or that it was grabbed from her.

Inggs said Jayde would spend most weekends with her family on their farm, as her husband worked over weekends. Price said the couple bought a house together in Lovemore Park, Port Elizabeth.

He said Inggs had told the court that she loved Panayiotou as her own brother up to April 25 last year.

He questioned whether she had started a Facebook page called Justice for Jayde, called Panayiotou and his family bastards, and said he should be put away for life.

"Yes, my Lord. I want him put away for life. I want justice for my sister. I am angry."

'They have treated us as the enemy'

Price asked why Panayiotou’s parents had been drawn into the matter.

"This is a family that has been part of my life for the past 11 years. From the day that he was arrested, they have treated us as the enemy," she said.

Price referred the court to a number of "loving" photos of the couple on Instagram. He said Inggs had only chosen to show the negative side of the relationship.

Under re-examination, Stander confirmed with Inggs that the photos were from Jayde’s account, not her husband’s.

"Looking at these likes. Is it right to say that Christopher Panayiotou has not [officially] liked one of these photos?” he asked her.

"Yes, that is correct."

She was allowed to leave the stand.

The trial continues.


Read more on:    jayde panayiotou  |  christopher panayiotou  |  port elizabeth  |  crime

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.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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.