Tears as court is shown photos of Jayde Panayiotou’s body

2016-10-31 21:04
Jayde Panayiotou (Supplied)

Jayde Panayiotou (Supplied)

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Port Elizabeth – In the most graphic evidence led during Christopher Panayiotou’s murder trial to date, the State on Monday showed photos of his wife Jayde’s body lying in the field where she was killed.

Port Elizabeth High Court Judge Dayalin Chetty advised people in the public gallery to leave the court if they did not want to see them.

Jayde’s sister Toni Inggs, her mother Michelle Inggs, and colleague and friend Cherise Swanepoel stayed in their seats.

A photo of Jayde’s body, lying in the distance, had already been shown during testimony last week.

Forensic expert Warrant Officer Phillip Bekker began his testimony by showing images setting out the location of the crime scene and the location of evidence, including tyre tracks and footprints.

As image after image of Jayde’s body were displayed on the screen in court, Toni fought back tears and stared resolutely forward, tissue clasped in one hand and her mother’s hand tightly in the other.

Michelle, tears flowing, slowly nodded as each slide showed up on the screen.

Christopher Panayiotou’s mother Fanoula blew her nose. His father Costa stared at his son in the dock.

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.

Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, believed to be the hitman hired by State witness Luthando Siyoni, died in a Port Elizabeth hospital in September.

Jayde was abducted from outside her Kabega Park townhouse complex while waiting for Swanepoel to give her a lift to Riebeek College Girls' High School in Uitenhage, where they both worked as teachers. She was shot dead in field outside KwaNobuhle and found on April 22. 

Shot 3 times

Bekker, the forensic specialist called to the scene, told the court he found Jayde fully dressed; her legs together. Her right arm was slightly extended. Her left arm was over her chest, clenched in a fist.

She was shot three times, in the chest, arm, and head. Bekker said the bullet wound to the head showed she was shot in close proximity to the ground.

The court was shown a close-up of her face. Her head was in a pool of blood.

Christopher showed little emotion. His face occasionally turned red. Sometimes he looked down at his feet.

Sibeko and Nenembe covered their faces.

The trial continues Tuesday morning.

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

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