Con accused ‘assaulted in jail’

2012-10-09 00:00

ALLEGED Pietermaritzburg con artist Charlene Singh (28) said she has been assaulted at Westville Prison by a warder and other inmates.

Singh appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday before magistrate Reard Abrahams.

Her Legal Aid lawyer told the court that Singh alleges she was assaulted in custody and has bruises “all over her body”.

One of the bruises on her left cheek was visible and the court was asked to note it.

Singh said the assault happened on Friday morning, but did not give details about how or why it had happened.

She, however, said that she was being “victimised” because she wanted to open a case in connection with the incident.

Singh sported yet another new hairstyle yesterday — her hair having been cut short on top with a long, whispy fringe.

The accused faces several counts of theft arising from allegations that she conned her way into the homes of elderly Pietermaritzburg residents and stole their property.

She is also charged with escaping from custody by jumping out of the window of a police van after one of her earlier court appearances.

She has not yet pleaded to any of the charges, but indicated previously that she was co-operating with the police investigation.

Prosecutor Sally Singh asked the court to postpone the case to October 24 to enable the regional court to check whether it was satisfied with the investigating officer’s response to a number of queries raised in the docket.

The regional court has to be satisfied that the investigation has been finalised before the case can be transferred for trial.

Meanwhile, Singh also appeared briefly in the regional court yesterday on attempted murder and malicious injury to property charges in a separate case.

The state alleges in that matter that she tried to murder Organised Crime Unit Captain Marina Jurgens by attempting to knock her down with a vehicle on January 16, and that she damaged a state-owned vehicle by reversing her car into the parked vehicle and “accelerating” through a closed gate.

The trial has been enrolled for today.

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