Goddard questioned

2018-02-20 13:45
Advocate Shane Matthews leaves the High Court with his client Darren Goddard (R) who faces 15 counts in total- of sexual assault, rape and accessing child pornography. The former school counsellor has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and has provided his side on each.

Advocate Shane Matthews leaves the High Court with his client Darren Goddard (R) who faces 15 counts in total- of sexual assault, rape and accessing child pornography. The former school counsellor has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and has provided his side on each. (File)

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Rape and sexual assault accused Darren Goddard on Monday maintained that his right to legal privilege was violated, despite the state saying otherwise.

He was on Monday cross-examined in the Pietermaritzburg high court by state advocate Frank van Heerden during a trial-within-a-trial to determine if the state is entitled to use certain evidence.

This is important to prove the 13 charges of rape and sexual assault against Goddard. He also faces two other charges related to child pornography.

Goddard is complaining there were three instances where his professional legal privilege was breached: when documents were seized from his psychologist, when his previous attorney’s comments to two state witnesses about him were contained in their statements, and police having access to a set of his notes that deal with the complainants, who are all young boys.

The incidents allegedly took place when Goddard was a primary school counsellor, between 2012 to 2016.

Van Heerden said to Goddard that police were not present when his previous attorney spoke to the two witnesses who had made the statements.

“The police never breached or infringed your legal privilege in respect to the communications between the two individuals and your attorney,” said Van Heerden.

Goddard replied it was “a matter for argument”.

Van Heerden put it to him that the investigating officer was taking down the witness statements when they spoke about what the attorney had told them. The officer did “not pick and choose” what to record in the statements.

He merely recorded all that was said to him. Van Heerden also put it to Goddard that his “notes” were not privileged as they merely his response to his bail application. Goddard disagreed.

The advocate said the investigation was already finalised before the investigating officer had seen the documents.

Goddard once again disagreed. He said his notes had influenced police investigations.

Van Heerden went through what was in the notes and tried to show the court that investigations on each aspect began before police had sight of the notes. Thus, the notes could not have influenced investigations.

During cross-examination, Van Heerden accused Goddard of “fabricating evidence”, and “lying” about when he had written the notes.

Van Heerden also questioned him about the scope of practice of his psychologist, which is educational psychology. The advocate says that since the psychologist is not a registered counsellor, communications between them are not privileged. Van Heerden put it to Goddard that the psychologist was seeing him as a “friend”. He disagreed.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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