Assault: cop’s trial date set

2010-04-07 00:00

THE traffic officer who was accused of “bullying” Camperdown motorist Jude Ward on January 18 this year is due to appear in court towards the end of this month for the first time in connection with Ward’s allegations of assault.

The Witness has established that a summons has been issued instructing the officer — who cannot be named until he appears in court — to make his first appearance in the Camperdown Magistrate’s Court on April 26.

This follows a decision by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) last month that the officer is to be charged for assault.

The DPP ordered simultaneously that Ward is to stand trial separately.

She has been charged with inconsiderate driving and failing to obey the instructions of a traffic official.

Ward’s trial date has been set down for June 15.

The charge against the traffic officer arises from the same encounter. Ward alleged she was assaulted and knocked to the ground inside the Camperdown police station in full view of police officers after being pursued along the N3 by the traffic officer.

Ward said she was driving on the N3 from Pietermaritzburg when an unmarked Isuzu double-cab with tinted windows flashed its lights behind her, indicating she should move over.

She claimed she could not move over immediately because there was a tanker on her left.

After she passed the tanker and moved over to the left, the traffic officer in the bakkie allegedly pointed and shouted at Ward indicating she should stop.

Ward said she was afraid to stop because of a previous bad experience with a so-called “blue light bully” and instead drove to the Camperdown police station.

There she alleged she was assaulted.

Ward’s attorney, Karen Hattingh, confirmed previously that Ward lodged a complaint with the Independent Complaints Directorate against the police officers who allegedly stood by when she was assaulted

Hattingh said her client will in due course institute a civil claim for damages against the state.

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