Panayiotou's scared 'mistress' thought phone was tapped

2016-10-13 19:04
Murder-accused Christopher Panayiotou in court to hear his bail judgment. (Derrick Spies, News24)

Murder-accused Christopher Panayiotou in court to hear his bail judgment. (Derrick Spies, News24)

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Port Elizabeth – Murder accused Christopher Panayiotou's alleged mistress apparently "freaked out" when police visited her a few days after his wife Jayde's murder, the Port Elizabeth High Court heard on Thursday.

Clarishka Kapp said Chanelle Coutts, her friend and Panayiotou's "mistress" wanted to meet with her on April 26 last year, five days after Jayde was killed.

Kapp was testifying for the State and being questioned by prosecutor Marius Stander.

Panayiotou had told her he loved Coutts, his store manager at the OK Grocer in Algoa Park, Kapp said.

She said she had photos of Coutts and Panayiotou together. Coutts sent her some showing the couple in bed.

Friends since Grade 3

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

She was kidnapped while waiting for her lift outside her Stellen Glen complex on Deacon Road in Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth.

Kapp lived in Algoa Park and worked at Don Marco, an upmarket boutique clothing store, in Walmer Park. She and Coutts had been friends since Grade 3.

The day after her birthday, Kapp was called to the OK Grocer to meet Coutts because she wanted to chat.

Coutts apparently put Kapp's phone behind the counter and they spoke as they walked through the aisles.

"She was very freaked out because she had been with the police. She was scared that her phone was tapped."

Relationship problems

Panayiotou's lawyer Terry Price interjected, saying this was all hearsay unless Coutts testified.

The State said it intended calling her to the stand.

Kapp said she then went home and deleted all the photos of the couple.

Stander asked if she downloaded spyware on her phone that day. She said she did not.

Referring to phone records, Stander asked why there was more communication between herself and Panayiotou, than there was between the lovers.

"He would phone me many times when he and Chanelle had arguments or when they had a misunderstanding… it was a problem. He would get tired of it," she replied.

She just listened as she felt there was nothing else to do.

Panayiotou and Coutts would usually talk it out and things would return to normal.

Deposit on car

Coutts was apparently "depressed" that he and his wife had bought a house together.

The court heard that Panayiotou apparently paid the deposit on a new vehicle for Coutts in December 2014.

The defence was set to cross-examine Kapp after lunch but informed the court they were not able to.

"It is an undesirable situation that you only respond on Monday, but we will give you access to the court record that you can refer to what has been said," said Judge Dayalin Chetty.

Defence lawyer Terry Price and Chetty reminded Kapp that she was a witness and could not consult with the investigating officer.

The defence would consult with Panayiotou on Friday.

The trial would resume on Monday morning.

Read more on:    christopher panayiotou  |  port elizabeth  |  crime

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