‘Police were involved in pilot’s death’

2009-10-29 00:00

THE findings of an inquiry into the death of James Taylor, one of the country’s top micro light pilots, have confirmed that a policeman was directly involved in his death.

Taylor was allegedly shot and killed outside the Tongaat police station in September 2004 by two policemen. The father of two went to the police station to report being assaulted by two men outside the Sea Belle Restaurant in La Mercy.

There he encountered two policemen and a scuffle broke out between Taylor and the police. Taylor was shot and died at the scene.

His family launched their own investigation after they received conflicting reports about the circumstances surrounding his tragic death. The Independent Complaints Directorate also launched an investigation into the shooting.

During a brief hearing at the Verulam Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Magistrate Ruby Poobalan said that Inspector OM Tewari was directly involved in Taylor’s death and should be prosecuted.

Poobalan declined to read the 200-page judgment as she wanted to make several amendments.

During the inquiry, top ballistic experts including renowned Cape Town specialist forensic pathologist Dr Gavin Kirk testified and explained Taylor’s post-mortem results.

Kirk testified that Taylor’s gunshot wound was bein­g consistent with a near entry wound and that the body was in an upright standing position when the shot was fired.

Taylor’s common law wife at the time, Bridgette Delport, told The Witness that she is ecstatic about the findings of the inquiry as it will help her move on.

“Our children have suffered the most from this ordeal. I’m satisfied with the findings, but will continue to seek justice for James’s death,” she said.

Taylor’s father, Max Taylor, said the family hopes the Director of Public Prosecutions will find sufficient evidence beyond any reasonable doubt so they can proceed with a criminal case.

“We hope that justice will at last be meted out to them,” he said.

Our children have suffered the most from this ordeal. I’m satisfied with the findings, but will continue to seek justice for James’s death.

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