Marine was the aggressor, court hears

2014-12-09 16:02

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Durban - Former British Royal Marine Brett Williams "aggressively" joined a group brawl and shouted profanities the night he was killed, the Durban Regional Court heard on Tuesday.

Blayne Shepard is accused of beating Williams to death outside Kings Park Stadium on the night of 23 March 2013, after the Sharks beat the Melbourne Rebels in a Super Rugby match.

He testified he did not touch Williams as he had "no beef" with him.

Shepard said his issue was with security guards he claimed had shoved him without reason.

On Monday he told the court security guards had taken offence at a comment by someone in his group of friends that security guards should be searched after a friend lost his necklace during a fight.

Shepard reiterated this on Tuesday, and added that he had pushed the guards in retaliation.

"Just because someone is labelled a security guard does not mean they are trained. They pushed me, so I pushed back," he said.

During the brawl Shepard said he noticed Williams get up from where he had been lying motionless and, after initially walking away, turn around and advance speedily towards the group. He said the Briton screamed "gaylord fuckers" at the group.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Krishen Shah and during questioning by Magistrate Trevor Levitt, Shepard said these words were the catalyst for the fight erupting into further chaos.

He maintained he did not see who Williams or anyone else was punching, nor did he see anyone assault Williams.

Shepard denied previous witness testimony that a "bald man in a pink shirt", a description of himself, had assaulted Williams.

He did admit though that numerous blows to the head could kill someone or result in brain damage.

After being accused by Shah of being "deliberately evasive" and constantly changing his story, Shepard was questioned at length by Levitt.

He told Levitt that Williams had appeared to be looking for trouble, and denied evidence from former co-accused Grant Cramer that he heard the Briton call his brother, also a former co-accused, a faggot.

When Levitt asked if Cramer's testimony was just "sucked from his thumb" and false, Shepard said it was.

Shepard was initially one of five friends accused of assaulting Williams to death, but now remains the only person charged with his murder.

Cramer turned State witness. The three others, Andries van der Merwe, Dustin van Wyk, and Shepard's older brother Kyle, were discharged last month.

Shepard would be re-examined by his advocate Christo van Schalkwyk after the lunch break.


Read more on:    brett williams  |  durban  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.