Accused paint attackers denied bail

2015-01-30 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG magistrate Ashin Singh yesterday refused to grant bail to two men charged with spray painting Malawian national Bilaz Asan and assaulting two others.

Singh found that the two accused, Avikar Lutchman (27) and Shadrack Wayne Naidoo (28), failed to prove that their release on bail would be in the interest of justice.

They are also charged with assaulting Pilendren Chetty by hitting him with a hose, and assaulting a 17-year-old girl by grabbing her T-shirt and hair, and hitting her.

Although Singh previously adjourned the bail application for police investigating officer Constable Sikhumbuzo Ngcobo to establish the immigration status of the victims in the case, he did not pursue the matter yesterday. He simply asked Ngcobo if he had done what he asked and when told that he had, he said the matter could now be left to the prosecuting authorities to deal with.

Singh said last week that even if the victims were not legally in the country, it didn’t mean that the case against the accused would not proceed.

His reasons for not granting Lutchman and Singh bail included the fact that the attack had caused a public outcry, was serious and brutal, and that there are concerns for the safety of witnesses.

The evidence of the investigating officer was that the two men had allegedly returned to the same premises on three separate occasions on one day to assault different people. By the time the third assault took place, Asan had already been taken to hospital.

Even though the men did not dispute being present at the time and place where the incidents occurred, they did not reveal their defence.

Lutchman and Naidoo are charged with assault and attempted murder of Asan by striking him with an axe, pouring thinners over his body and spray painting his naked body with car paint.

Ngcobo testified he was informed that the incidents were allegedly sparked by the accused’s rage that ­repairs to their vehicle were not ­completed.

The case has now been adjourned to March 12 for further investigation.

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