Court: Shaw refused bail for the second time

2007-12-20 00:00

Nottingham Road murder accused, Hilton Shaw, charged with the murder of his wife Susan on June 3, feels he will “go insane” if he spends another six months in prison awaiting trial.

Shaw — who has been indicted to go on trial in the high court on May 12, 2008 — gave this evidence yesterday before Howick magistrate Nhlanhla Mpanza shortly before he was refused bail for the second time.

Shaw was visibly agitated when the verdict was handed down by Mpanza, and was afterwards locked in talks with his legal team.

Mpanza said most of Shaw’s concerns — relating to his deteriorating health and conditions at the Pietermaritzburg New Prison — could be solved if he were moved to Nottingham Road police cells for the duration of the awaiting trial period, and he ordered that Shaw immediately be moved there.

At Nottingham Road, Shaw will be able to consult freely with his lawyers, enjoy visits from relatives and obtain whatever medication he requires, the magistrate said.

Shaw earlier brought a renewed bail application before Mpanza based on “new facts”.

His advocate, Gideon Scheltema SC, said the main ground for the application was the delay now facing Shaw before his case can be finalised in the high court, and the prejudice Shaw will suffer as a result.

By the time the case is due to start Shaw would have served nine months in custody.

Shaw said he was moved to New Prison after he was refused bail on September 9.

There he shares a cell with “between 35 and 44 prisoners”, even though there are only 19 beds in the cell.

Asked if he has a bed he responded: “Yes, I do have a bed now.”

He said he is sleep deprived due to the constant loud noise of televisions, radios and talking amongst his cell-mates.

He is also suffering from lice infestation, has lost weight and is having trouble with his blood pressure due to stress.

Shaw said the prisoners in his cell share two urinals, two toilets and two showers. “I don’t know which smells worse. The urinals or the food,” he added.

Prisoners also get no opportunity for exercise, the court heard.

Under cross examination by state advocate, Dorian Paver Shaw said he could afford R10 000 bail.

Confronted by the fact that he is an un-rehabilitated insolvent with no assets, he responded that bail will be paid for him by his sons.

Paver suggested in that case he will “lose nothing” if he decides to flee. Paver also questioned whether Shaw still has a passport in his possession, as a trip he admittedly made to Zanzibar (where he was contracted to work on building a resort) on May 28, 2003, was not endorsed on the passport he handed over to the authorities.

Shaw said it was probably reflected on his previous passport, but Paver suggested to him that the passport had expired in February 2003.

Acting on the advice of his advocate, Shaw refused to answer questions relating to the death of his wife or his defence to the murder charge.

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