Accused former school counsellor in fresh bail bid

2016-09-27 09:32
Rape accused former school counsellor to bring another bail application.

Rape accused former school counsellor to bring another bail application. (File)

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The former school counsellor facing rape and sexual assault charges is going to bring yet another bail application.

He was previously refused bail in the magistrate’s court on July 18, and also failed in his bail appeal before the high court on September 6.

The counsellor’s advocate, Brad Osborne, told Pietermaritzburg magistrate M. Boikhutso on Monday that the defence now intends to bring a fresh bail application based on new facts on October 5.

He said the date was arranged with the state.

However, Boikhutso told him that she is waiting for her leave to be approved and it is possible she might not be available to hear the application on that day.

Boikhutso added that because she previously refused to grant the counsellor bail, no other magistrate can deal with the “new” application.

She agreed, however, to adjourn the matter “provisionally” to that date for a possible bail hearing.

Osborne said the defence hopes the application will be heard “as soon as possible”, as the counsellor has been in custody for three months already.

“On the last occasion I indicated that the defence believes there are a number of worrying aspects about this matter,” he said.

Osborne said the Director of Public Prosecutions’ directive, which is in the possession of the court, “sets out the inadequacies in the investigation”. He said facts that were placed before the court by the state at the previous bail application were “not borne out” by the DPP’s directive.

In response to an inquiry from Boi­khutso, Osborne said the defence plans to hand in an affidavit and lead oral evidence in support of the new bail application.

He arranged with Boikhutso to provide her with a copy of the defence affidavit by the end of this week.

While he urged the court to set down the bail application this Friday — which coincides with the deadline given by the DPP for the police investigations to be finalised — the prosecutor said the court roll was already full that day and there would not be time to deal with the matter.

Last week Osborne told the court that the defence is concerned about issues of “fairness” surrounding the counsellor’s trial, including the allegedly slow pace of the state’s investigations.

He said the counsellor was arrested three months ago and the investigation was still not complete.

A four-page letter from the DPP’s office, which was handed to court and made available to the defence, detailed the outstanding portions of the investigation, including statements that still have to be obtained from witnesses, as well as physical evidence that must be verified and/or seized.

It also states that there are five dockets outstanding in connection with which investigations have to be finalised.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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