Dros rape case: Suspect to undergo psychiatric evaluation

2018-11-01 11:01
The Dros rape accused sits in the Pretoria Magistrate's court on Thursday morning. (Chante Schatz, News24)

The Dros rape accused sits in the Pretoria Magistrate's court on Thursday morning. (Chante Schatz, News24)

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The man accused of raping a 7-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Dros restaurant in Pretoria will be referred for mental observation.

The Pretoria Magistrate's Court granted the application which was brought by the state and the defence on Thursday morning. 

OVERVIEW: Magistrate grants application to send Dros rape accused for mental observation

Additionally, the court also granted an application by the defence to appoint an additional psychiatrist and clinical psychologist making up a team of four experts that will observe the accused while he is in Weskoppies, which is a government psychiatrist institution. 

Mental state

Legal aid lawyer for the accused, Riaan du Plessis told the court that there is a need to explore the mental state of the accused at the time of the alleged incident. 

He added that the accused was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2013 and has been using drugs since he was 14-years-old. 

It was put on record that the accused had previously undergone rehabilitation for substance abuse. 

"He also tried to commit suicide because of the severe depression of having bipolar," said Du Plessis. 

State advocate Sanet Jacobson told the court that it is in the interest of justice if the accused be referred to Weskoppies for psychiatric observation. 

"[His] criminal capacity might be a relevant issue to pursue because a substance was found on him," said Jacobson. 

Toxicology report

The court also heard that the DNA forensic evidence had been received but that a toxicology report on the substance found on the accused at the time of the alleged rape has not yet been completed. 

During a previous court appearance, the accused refused to assist the state's investigation by handing over his cellphone and claimed that he was assaulted by police while detained at Silverton police station. 

"My instructions from the accused [are] that he does not want to help the State regarding this issue at this stage. At a later [stage] this issue might be considered," Du Plessis previously told the court. 

Du Plessis argued that the accused had a right against self-incrimination.

A claim that the police assaulted the accused at the Silverton police station, where he had been detained after his arrest in September, was also placed on record.

"[The] accused was forced by police to do push-ups and then he was kicked by police officers and then kicked on the left eye," Du Plessis claimed.

The accused also claimed that police officers used belts and their open hands to beat him and that people who held him before his arrest at the restaurant used a broken bottle to stab him.

Weskoppies admission

News24 previously reported that the accused was at the restaurant where he allegedly followed the 7-year-old child to a bathroom and raped her.

A video taken moments after the alleged incident showed a man covered in blood and patrons lashing out at him.

The accused has not yet brought an application for his release on bail, nor has he pleaded to the charges.

The case was postponed to November 28 and the accused will have to wait for a bed to become available in Weskoppies. 

* News24 has taken a decision not to identify the accused until he has pleaded in court as stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Act.

According to Section 154(2b) of the Criminal Procedure Act: No person shall at any stage before the appearance of an accused in a court upon any charge referred to in section 153(3) or at any stage after such appearance but before the accused has pleaded to the charge, publish in any manner whatever any information relating to the charge in question.

Section 153(3) refers to criminal proceedings related to sexual offences charges.

Once the accused has pleaded to the charges, News24 will reveal his identity in accordance with the law.

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