‘Room for reasonable doubt’ on poison plot

2012-11-16 00:00

POLICE moved in too quickly to arrest “poison plotter” Dave Williams (52), according to his attorney.

Nasen Naicker submitted yesterday that to have an “airtight case” against Williams, police should not have arrested him before he’d had a chance to give the capsules he’d bought from a police trap to his wife, Vino.

He said police had known the capsules contained only glucose and were in fact harmless. But if Williams had given them to his wife, it would have thrown his version that he meant to use them to commit suicide “out of the window”.

Naicker said this when arguing Williams’s application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence before regional magistrate Mpume Linda yesterday. Williams is currently in custody pending the court’s verdict, which will be delivered next Tuesday. Regional Court prosecutor Sarel van der Merwe opposed the application.

Naicker told the court Williams has consistently stuck to his version that he wanted to commit suicide. He had only pretended that he wanted to buy poison to kill his wife, because he knew that his friend would not help him otherwise.

Naicker said he accepts that to prove conspiracy to commit murder, it was not necessary for police to wait until Williams gave his wife the capsules. However, because they had not waited, he argued that the court should accept that Williams’s version could reasonably be true.

Arguing for a shorter sentence, he submitted the case was different to others involving conspiracy to commit murder charges where the perpetrator usually hired someone to carry out the deed. Williams hadn’t asked anyone to help him carry out a murder; all he asked for was help to obtain the capsules.

“Nobody, other than the accused, knew what he intended to do with the pills,” said Naicker.

Williams was supported at court by a friend, Jeanelyn Mitchell, who is taking care of his teenaged daughter, who was living with Williams at the time of his imprisonment.

“As a friend, I trust in him,” she told The Witness.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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