Prinsloo 'looked like a clown'

2010-02-01 08:45

Minsk - Dirk Prinsloo will know on Monday whether he has been found guilty and whether he will be sent to jail in a maximum security prison in Belarus.

The alleged child sex criminal is facing charges relating to attempted bank robbery, theft, torture, death threats and "thuggery" and could be given a sentence of up to 15 years in jail.

Prinsloo claimed he was innocent on all charges except for the bank robbery, to which he conceded "partial" guilt.

Judge Vasiliy Petriv will begin delivering his verdict on Monday afternoon in the Baranovitchi Regional Court.

Willing to pay damages

Last week, Prinsloo said he was willing to pay damages to the victims at the bank due to the "moral and material damage" inflicted on them on June 10 when he attempted to rob the bank, but said the amount they were asking (R52 000 each) was too much.

"Do they think I won the Lotto the day I walked into the bank?" he asked.

Prinsloo also claimed his prosecution and trial were illegal and that police had not followed the correct procedures. He also claimed he had been tortured, an allegation that was rejected by the court on Friday.

Prinsloo also accused police of tampering with evidence and told witnesses what to say.

Prinsloo denied "physically and mentally" assaulting and torturing his mistresses. He also denied stealing a necklace worth $2 000 from one of them. He claimed their "lies" were motivated by "jealousy".

Boy 'scared of Prinsloo'

According to a statement that was read in court on Friday, the boy who helped police compile an identikit of Prinsloo after the failed bank robbery "didn't want to see the man again as I'm scared of him".

Artiom Bobrovitch, 10, described how Prinsloo punched his mother repeatedly outside the bank after he fled following his failed robbery attempt.

Artiom and his mother, Angela Bobrovitch, went to the bank together and had taken their dog.

"It was at about 14:15 and Mommy left me outside with the dog so that she could go to the bank.

"She was climbing the stairs and suddenly there was a man with a mask over his face. I didn't hear him say anything".

'Pure fantasy'

"He attacked my mother and beat her with his fists on her head and stomach. He hit her about four times.

"She collapsed against the wall and fell onto the ground. The man walked slowly and took the mask from his face. I saw the knife in his hand. In the other hand was a bag."

"There was no reason to hit my mother. I was very scared and ran away to hide in the entrance hall of a building."

Artiom told police the suspect looked "like a clown with a wide nose and big eyes".

Later, Artiom identified Prinsloo "immediately" when he was shown a photograph of him.

According to Prinsloo, Artiom's version was "pure fantasy".

"When I left the bank, there was not a boy with a dog outside. He could perhaps have been in the area, but not nearby."