Jayde licence plate details texted to 'Happy Trigger', State claims

2016-11-14 16:36
Jayde Panayiotou (Supplied)

Jayde Panayiotou (Supplied)

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Port Elizabeth - Jayde Panayiotou's car registration number and make were texted to a contact called “Happy Trigger”, the High Court in Port Elizabeth heard during the murder trial of her husband on Monday.

State witness Luthando Siyoni testified that of the two ''Happy Trigger'' contacts saved on his phone, one was an enthusiastic gym-goer. He said he did not know who the other one was.

The nightclub bouncer and gym owner was vague in answering prosecutor Marius Stander's questions about his cellphone records. 

He claimed to not be able to remember the context to texts, or even whether the ''Chris'' saved on his phone was one of the accused, Christopher Panayiotou.

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

Siyoni worked as a bouncer at Panayiotou’s Infinity Cocktail Bar in Algoa Park. He allegedly hired the gunman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, who died in a Port Elizabeth hospital in September.

No explanation

Stander asked Siyoni if he remembered why, according to the call log, he made a lot of contact with “Happy Trigger” on March 4 and 5 last year.

Siyoni said he could not explain this. Nor could he remember sending “Happy Trigger” an SMS with the licence plate details of Jayde’s grey Ford Fiesta.

Stander presented the results of a forensic trawl of Siyoni's cellphone records, including searches he had done on the handset, and visits to Facebook.

He stuck to his story that he was in negotiations with Vumazonke to buy weights for his gym.

The court heard that while the two were driving together at one stage, Vumazonke allegedly made a startling claim.

“Now on the way he told me a story,” said Siyoni earlier.

“That he was sent by Chris that he must kill his wife.”

Terry Price, for Panayiotou, objected on the grounds of hearsay.

Jayde was allegedly kidnapped from outside her townhouse complex in Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth, on April 21, 2015. She was found shot dead in a field near KwaNobuhle the next day.

The trial continues.

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

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