‘Dishonest’ Darren Fresco escapes prosecution for gun-related charges

2014-09-12 11:34

Oscar Pistorius’ friend Darren Fresco avoided prosecution on firearms-related charges, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ruled.

“The fact that Fresco was dishonest in the sunroof incident does not render his evidence as a whole unreliable,” Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled today.

She said this moments before she found Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 last year. Masipa had found Pistorius not guilty of murder.

Fresco’s testimony did not relate to the murder charge.

According to count three on the charge sheet Pistorius fired a shot from Fresco’s Glock pistol under a table at a restaurant in Joburg in January 2013. Masipa found him guilty on count three.

On count two, of which he was acquitted, on September 30 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with Fresco and ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor in Modderfontein.

Fresco faced charges relating to the sunroof and restaurant shootings. He testified for the state in exchange for indemnity from prosecution, if the court found him to have been an honest witness.

Masipa said she was willing to excuse Fresco’s lie that Pistorius shot through the sunroof “out of nowhere”. Taylor, who was with the pair at the time, testified for the state that the two had discussed shooting at a traffic light before the shot was fired.

Masipa said boxer Kevin Lerena corroborated Fresco’s version of the restaurant shooting.

“Mr Darren Fresco answered frankly and honestly all questions put to him. He is discharged from prosecution,” Masipa said.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel got up and said: “As the court pleases.” Pistorius’s lawyer Barry Roux did the same.

Fresco began crying and wiping his eyes with a pink tissue.

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