State reopens case in marine murder trial

2014-11-06 17:30

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Durban - The State reopened its case in the Durban Regional Court on Thursday against four men accused of beating a former Royal Marine to death.

Prosecutor Krishan Shah said he would reopen the State's case to allow two statements from a security guard and a paramedic to be admitted as evidence.

The court had expected defence counsel to apply, in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act, to have the case discharged against Blayne Shepard, 23, and his brother Kyle, 25, Andries van der Merwe, 23, and Dustin van Wyk, 23.

They each face a charge of murder, three of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and one of crimen injuria.

They are accused of beating Brett Williams to death outside Durban's Kings Park stadium on the night of 23 March 2013, after the Sharks beat the Melbourne Rebels in a Super Rugby match.

Keith Seach, who had been working as a casual supervising manager for Fidelity Security on the night of the attack, said he gave a verbal statement to his seniors on the night, which someone else wrote down.

He admitted that the typed document had his signature, but that the contents of the statement deviated from what he had told his superiors at Kings Park's operations centre.

Asked by Christo van Schalkwyk, for the Shepard brothers, why the statement referred to eight people being involved in the attack on Williams, Seach said he never gave a number, but referred to the attackers as "a group".

Asked about other differences, he said: "I read it without reading it."

He said that at 01:00 all he wanted to do was go home.

A second statement, by paramedic Derrick Banks, was also handed in as evidence. The court heard that Banks was in the Western Cape for work.

The contents of Banks's statement were not read to the court and Shah closed his case for a second time. The State first closed its case on Tuesday.

The application to have the case discharged would be heard on Friday.

Should Magistrate Trevor Levitt agree with the defence, the four could walk free. He may also grant the application to some of the men and not the others, who would then have to defend themselves against the charges.

Lawyer Malcolm Lutge told the court that Seach and Banks's statements would not affect his argument when he applied to have the case discharged.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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