Goddard ‘tried to flee’

2019-10-15 16:10

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The arresting officer in the Darren Goddard case has alleged that Goddard had appeared to want to evade arrest.

Warrant Officer Imraan Shaik described to the Pietermaritzburg high court on Monday how Goddard apparently “didn’t want to be traced” by police.

Goddard faces 15 counts in total, one of accessing child pornography, another of being in possession of child pornography, and the rest of sexual assault and rape.

The incidents allegedly took place between 2012 and 2016 when Goddard was a counsellor at a local school. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Shaik said during his testimony on Monday that he was asked by the investigating officer, Warrant Officer Neil Sivenarain, to arrest Goddard on June 23, 2016.

Shaik, a member of the K9 unit who was a member of the Combined Action Team, which made arrests for serious cases, said he drovethat night to a farm on the Otto’s Bluff Road where Goddard lived, but was unable to find him.

He said people at the farm said Goddard had “moved away a long time ago”.

“We proceeded to several farms nearby, but couldn’t find him.”

Shaik alleged that, while patrolling Otto’s Bluff Road, he stopped and questioned a man on the road whom he did not name, who then led police to a house near Alexandra Road, where they found Goddard’s white Toyota Fortuner in the yard. He alleged police were greeted at the door by a woman.

“I could clearly see him [Goddard] in the lounge. He was pacing up and down, and it seemed to me like he wanted to escape. He was very hysterical at the time and was running between two doors [in the house].”

Goddard exchanged puzzled looks with his advocate, Shane Matthews, as Shaik made these allegations.

Shaik then alleged he “pushed” the woman aside and went to arrest Goddard.

He said a boy who Goddard had counselled was also at the house, and claimed Goddard had asked police not to put him in handcuffs because he was a “role model” for that boy.

Shaik alleged that police not being able to find Goddard at the farm on Otto’s Bluff Road created the “impression” that Goddard was trying to “flee” police.

When cross examining Shaik, Matthews asked him why Goddard had been arrested without a warrant of arrest.

Shaik explained that the arrest was made without a warrant because of the “seriousness” of the allegations against Goddard. However, he conceded that he had not seen any statement regarding the case.

He also admitted he had not known that Goddard was a (school) counsellor at the time.

Matthews said Goddard denies that he tried to flee or that he paced up and down on the night of his arrest.

Further evidence on Monday was given by the father of one of the allegedly abused boys who had complained to the principal of the school where Goddard worked about his concerns regarding “physical contact” Goddard had with the boy during counselling sessions.

He testified that he took a photo of Goddard standing with the principal and talking to him soon after their meeting. The father said the photo was taken at a “mini Comrades” event at the school.

Matthews did not cross examine the father. The case continues.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  goddard trial

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