Man she knew assaulted her sexually and then tried to kill her

2009-05-06 00:00

A young woman wept in the regional court yesterday while recalling the trauma she suffered seven years ago — indecently assaulted, raped and stabbed up to 40 times, and left for dead in a provincial government building where she worked as a security guard.

She described how, after stabbing her repeatedly in her neck and back, her attacker jumped on her back several times to see if she was moving. When she did not, he left and she managed to get to the ground floor by lift. There she collapsed. Two staff members found her and called help.

The woman said the assailant — whom she identified as an acquaintance, Jason Chetty — told her he had to kill her because she would tell everyone about the sexual assaults.

“I told him it would be our secret, but he didn’t believe me,” she said.

She said he initially tried to throttle her and twist her neck to break it, but did not succeed. He then said he would “crack” her head with a brick.

When he realised he could not kill her in this way, he said he “might as well” stab her. He pushed her on to the floor, sat on top of her and then stabbed her repeatedly in the neck.

“I managed to turn onto my stomach and then he continued poking [stabbing] me on my back,” she said. “When I stopped moving he twisted my arm on to my back and then he jumped on my back a couple of times to see if I moved.”

She spent two weeks in hospital being treated for “10 to 12” deep wounds to her neck and “20 to 30” on her back, she said.

The woman told regional magistrate Chris van Vuuren that not a day goes by when she does not think about what happened to her. Her evidence was transmitted via a television screen from a separate room so she would not have to come face to face with her alleged assailant.

The woman was 19 at the time of the incident on November 17, 2002, according to the state’s charge sheet.

Chetty was tried previously for the same offences, but was granted a re-trial after high court judges ruled that the fact that he was not legally represented for part of the hearing was unconstitutional.

The woman denied under cross- examination by Chetty’s lawyer, Kevin Morris, that she had a consensual sexual relationship with Chetty.

Chetty claims he told her he had a commitment to spend time with his wife and six-month-old baby on the day in question, but she “kissed him and encouraged him” to stay.

It was suggested to her that after they had sex by consent and Chetty was intent on leaving, another man arrived and confronted him.

Chetty alleges this man assaulted him, causing him to run away. He claims he did not see what happened to the woman, but believes this other person may have stabbed her.

The woman said she had no reason to protect anyone else and blame Chetty for what happened. She insisted she met Chetty only two to three weeks before the incident.

That morning, she said, she met him by chance at the Sandwich Inn and he accompanied her to her place of work and remained to talk. When they were alone he attacked her after telling her that one of her colleagues said she was “easy to get”.

He held a knife to her throat and forced her to do what he said.

The woman described how, after one of the sexual assaults, Chetty forced her to write two letters. “He made me say that I liked him from the first day that I saw him and that I wanted him,” she said sobbing.

Chetty made her write another saying that “if anything happens to her, he [Chetty] is not responsible”, and stating that a friend of hers should be held responsible.

The woman testified that she had a boyfriend at the time of the incident. She has since married him.

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