Panayioutou shops opened late on day of Jayde's murder

2016-10-19 18:18
Defence attorney Terry Price. (News24)

Defence attorney Terry Price. (News24)

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Port Elizabeth - Murder-accused Christopher Panayiotou, or someone using his security code, disabled the alarm at his grocery store and night club shortly after the murder of his wife, the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth heard on Wednesday.

The alarms at the OK Grocer in Algoa Park and the Infinity Cocktail Bar were disabled late at night on Tuesday, April 21 2015, the day Panayiotou’s wife Jayde was kidnapped and murdered. Panayiotou is the owner of both businesses.

This emerged during questioning of former Atlas Security Operations Centre manager John Best, by prosecutor Marius Stander.

Best, who is currently Nelson Mandela Bay mayoral committee member for safety and security, said the OK Grocer, the OK Bakery, and the Infinity Cocktail Bar in Algoa Park all used Atlas Security alarms.

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

Unique code

READ: AS IT HAPPENED: Fireworks over phone calls, money trail in Panayiotou trial

Jayde was kidnapped while waiting for her lift outside her Port Elizabeth townhouse complex on the morning of April 21. She was a teacher at Riebeek College Girls' High School in Uitenhage.

Stander asked Best about records that showed that someone had accessed the Grocer and the bar after they had closed for the day. Someone disarmed the alarm for the Infinity Bar at 23:31 and rearmed it at 23:36.

The OK Grocer was opened at 05:42 and closed at 21:50. The alarm was then disarmed again at 23.30 and rearmed at 23.35.

Best told Stander each user had a unique code and that the code used was registered to Christopher Panayiotou.

It is the State’s case that this is when Panayiotou collected the R80 000 to pay for the hit on his wife.

In cross-examination however, defence advocate Terry Price asked Best whether it was possible that someone else could have used Panayiotou’s code.  

Best agreed.

“In fact if you look, you see that when the OK Grocer was opened, [the record] suggests that he opened the shop,” said Price.

Price pointed out that according to the State’s own case, Panayiotou had been at home in bed at that time.

Read more on:    christopher panayiotou  |  jayde panayiotou  |  crime

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