Widow relives murder horror

2011-11-16 00:00

THE wife of murdered Ashburton resident Bob Hudson-Bennett (61) described in the high court yesterday how an 11-year-old boy ran ahead of her into her home at midnight on February 5 and then ran out hysterically shouting that her husband was dead.

Sheryl Hudson-Bennett said she and the child had gone out for a few hours to visit friends.

“I pacified him and told him that it couldn’t be so and perhaps he (my husband) had fallen asleep on the floor or was hurt.

“He told me there was blood all over and he wasn’t moving,” she told Judge Rishi Seegobin and assessors.

When she entered the lounge she saw her husband lying there.

“I touched him to see if he was breathing and he was cold. My child was hysterical at this time … and told him to go outside. I remember phoning 10111 and my friends.”

She also alerted their tenants, who lived in an adjoining wing of the house, and left the boy with them.

She later found various valuables were missing from the house.

On trial for the murder are Mzwakhe Mdlalose (19), San-dile Mncwabe (21) and Sphamandla Mkhize (22), all of Imbali. All three have pleaded not guilty.

Mncwabe said in a statement to court he knew nothing about the murder. A former neighbour, Musa Skhosana, had arrived at his home with a computer and a camera bag that contained a serrated hunting knife, and left them with him to look after.

He had done this for Skhosana before and did not think anything of it, he said.

State advocate Dheelan Naidoo said the prosecution will lead evidence of two accomplices who will testify about a plan to burgle a different house in Ashburton on the night in question.

When this was unsusccessful they and the accused walked around the area and when they observed two cars leaving Hudson-Bennett’s home they decided to break in there instead. While ransacking the house they discovered he was inside.

The court adjourned yesterday to investigate claims by relatives of Mdlalose that he suffers from a mental illness.

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