scams on elderly: Singh tried to hire other lawyers behind lawyer’s back

2012-08-04 00:00

THE attorney acting for accused con artist Charlene Singh (28) withdrew from defending her yesterday, after discovering that she had tried to hire other lawyers behind his back.

Singh faces several counts of theft arising from allegations that she conned her way into the homes of elderly people in Pietermaritzburg and stole their belongings.

She is also charged with escaping from custody by jumping out of the window of a police vehicle following one of her court appearances.

Singh temporarily withdrew her application for bail last week, and again told the court yesterday that she is busy helping the police with their investigations.

Singh, who claims to be a heroin addict, has had a haircut and has smartened up since her initial court appearance, when she looked unkempt.

Pietermaritzburg lawyer Nasen Naicker yesterday asked magistrate Reard Abrahams for permission to withdraw from defending her as her attorney, saying he no longer wished to represent Singh.

“It has come to my attention that the accused has attempted to secure the services of other attorneys … I had intended to deal with this matter on a pro bono [free] basis because I believed it was a deserving case, and she has asked me to continue, but I no longer wish to do so,” Naicker said.

Asked by the magistrate if she had any objection to Naicker withdrawing his representation, Singh replied: “No”.

She told the court that she now wanted to apply for legal aid, adding that she had asked for a legal aid attorney to represent her in the regional court, where she faces charges of attempted murder and malicious injury to property.

These relate to an incident when she is alleged to have tried to kill SAPS Organised Crime Unit Captain Marina Jurgens by attempting to knock her down with a car in the January 16 incident.

On the same day, at the Organised Crime Unit offices in Pietermaritzburg, she is alleged to have damaged a state-owned Toyota Corolla by reversing her vehicle into the parked car and “accelerating through the closed gate”.

Both her cases were adjourned to August 24 for further investigation.


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