Crime intelligence officer tells court how he tailed murdered Hannah Cornelius' car

2018-10-22 13:32
Accused in the Hannah Cornelius case. (File)

Accused in the Hannah Cornelius case. (File) (Adrian de Kock)

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A sharp-eyed crime intelligence officer driving around Stellenbosch incognito spotted the blue VW Golf belonging to Hannah Cornelius after her severely injured friend Cheslyn Marsh had managed to give him some details of their ordeal, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Captain Carl Loesch explained that he had been on standby when he was called and told that there had been a hijacking, with a woman murdered and a man severely injured.

He set off to interview Marsh in hospital, in the hopes of getting something to work on.

ALSO READ: DNA confirms unknown suspect in Hannah Cornelius rape, murder

"He was very confused and he was vomiting," said Loesch of Marsh, who was hit on the head with a brick and left for dead.

However, Marsh managed to tell him that they had been hijacked near a block of flats by four men who later hit him on the head and left him behind.

Loesch left the distressed survivor and started retracing the route that Marsh could remember.

At one point, he passed the distinctive old style blue VW Golf with its yellow plates. He calmly turned his car around and began tailing them.

Accused cornered and arrested

The Golf turned left at a robot and the bearded Loesch waited patiently as the traffic light turned green again. He caught up with them again at the next traffic light, and could just see two people in the car at that stage.

He let his colleagues know and they took over the tail, while he peeled away.

Later, he saw the Golf parked near the gate of a farm, called Dwars-in-die-Weg. Two of the accused were cornered and arrested after they tried to run away from the car. The other two were arrested later.

ALSO READ: 'I didn't commit any crime' – accused in Hannah Cornelius murder

Geraldo Parsons, Vernon Witbooi, Eben van Niekerk and Nashville Julius face a string of charges, including murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and rape.

The men allegedly accosted Cornelius and Marsh in her VW Citi Golf at the corner of Jan Celliers Road and Bird Street in Stellenbosch in the early hours of May 27, 2017.

Cornelius was threatened with a screwdriver, while Marsh was forced into the backseat of his friend's car at knifepoint.

Marsh was assaulted and left for dead earlier in the evening, while Cornelius was later raped and stabbed to death. The trial continues.

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Read more on:    hannah cornelius  |  cape town  |  crime  |  rape

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