Released man glad to be home

2017-05-02 06:00
Errol York from Intersite informal settlement is reunited with his family after a case against him was dismissed after he spent six months in prison.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Errol York from Intersite informal settlement is reunited with his family after a case against him was dismissed after he spent six months in prison.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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A man has been reunited with his family after spending six months in prison for a crime he still says he did not do.

Errol York (48) from Intersite informal settlement in Maitland returned home to his wife and daughter on Tuesday morning after he was released from prison. He says there was insufficient evidence to link him to the robbery he was accused of in October last year and the case was dismissed.

He had been accused of robbing a man who was walking across the informal settlement through the cemetery shortcut to the nearest suburb. He was held in Pollsmoor prison after he was denied bail.

MistakenAccording to York, a man was attacked and robbed by unknown robbers who then ran in the direction of his place.

The victim then reported the robbery at Maitland Police Station who escorted him to the entrance of the squatter camp where York coincidentally met with them. York suddenly heard the man saying he was one of the robbers.

“It was late in the evening and I had decided to go buy bread, since there was no food, but that was my biggest mistake. I met the police and I was mistaken for the robbers I did not even see. The guy insisted I was one of them and I was arrested.

“What angers me is that no investigation was done. I was arrested immediately and the complainant never bothered to go to court until today. I sat there without any evidence against me,” says York.

While his three-year-old daughter will not take her hands off him and his wife looks emotional and is at a loss for words, York tells People’s Post about the time he missed with his family and the misery of his life in the cells.

“It was hard in there, it was my first time to stay this long in real prison and it was a lot of physical and emotional trauma. I could not stop worrying about my wife and daughter who were really struggling and would run out of food sometimes because I could no longer provide for them. I am angry and I want to sue the state for the pain they put me through.”

York is appealing to legal representatives to offer him legal help while his family survives on the piece jobs he does in neighbouring suburbs.

His unemployed wife Theresa Mathee (32) says she is happy to have him back and that she always knew he was innocent.

Escape routeHis friend Denvel Figland (43) also says he is happy that York is back because he was helpful in the community and has been accused of a crime he did not commit.

He says it is not unusual for someone in the informal settlement to be accused of committing a crime because criminals usually use the informal settlement route to ­escape.

Maitland police did not confirm that York had been arrested, saying that “his name did not ring any bells”, but he might have used a pseudonym.

Captain Glen Coetzee says: “You can never be sure with these guys because they change their names when they get arrested, making it difficult for us. In this case we cannot deny or confirm anything.”

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