OVERVIEW: Rohde denied bail, heads back to prison

2018-12-06 10:29

Pre-sentencing proceedings of convicted murderer Jason Rohde continue in the Western Cape High Court.


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Last Updated at 15:44
06 Dec 15:37

The sentencing has been postponed until February 18, 2019.

The court adjourns.

06 Dec 15:34

06 Dec 15:32
Van der Spuy says a two-month delay is anticipated in Rohde's sentencing proceedings because of the festive break. We could be looking at three months before he is sentenced, says Van der Spuy.

06 Dec 15:30

06 Dec 15:29

06 Dec 15:27
Van der Spuy says the case is at a crucial stage in the development and progress and the education of Rohde's children. There is a problem with finances: Only R80k is available, and they are completely dependent on him even though they are majors now.

06 Dec 15:23

06 Dec 15:22
Van der Spuy moves on to say Rohde faces a minimum sentence of 15 years. He says his behaviour since his arrest has been as close to 100% as one could possibly get, in the circumstances. 

06 Dec 15:21

06 Dec 15:16

06 Dec 15:13

06 Dec 15:08
In  support of the application, the defence said there were special grounds for her to give evidence behind closed doors. Salie-Hlophe says there must be a causal link between Kathryn giving evidence and possible harm to her.

06 Dec 15:07

Judge is reading a statement into the record: She says these are the sentencing proceedings of Jason Rohde for the murder of Susan, and of staging her death as a suicide.

06 Dec 15:03

06 Dec 15:01
Kathryn's testimony will be free from media access.

06 Dec 15:00

06 Dec 15:00
Kathryn is a vulnerable child and is reluctant to testify.

06 Dec 14:58

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06 Dec 14:53

06 Dec 14:51
Sotloff said that that we are all volatile at some time in our lives, but believes Rohde is not a volatile personality.

06 Dec 14:49

06 Dec 14:47

She said that Van der Spuy responded to the court's directions "rudely, raising his voice, shaking his body and shaking his finger in the air".

She found the conduct "disrespectful" and said it would not be tolerated.

She adjourned earlier today for everybody to calm down.

06 Dec 14:46

She said that even though that information is already before her on record, she would allow the witness to place his evidence before the court for the sake of fairness.

However, when it became evident that the witness was not confining himself self to placing evidence in mitigation and Advocate van der Spuy "continued to protest Mr Rohde's evidence", she reminded him that he is place before her factors in mitigation of sentence after he was found guilty of murder Differently put, it is information she will consider in considering the appropriate sentence.

06 Dec 14:45

Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe came back after lunch and said that when the court convened this this morning the specialist psychiatrist Kevin Stoloff was called to give evidence that was already by and large before court from previous testimony.

This related to Rohde's absence from court on February 5 while he was being treated for severe depression.

06 Dec 14:41

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06 Dec 12:12

So Van Der Spuy and his colleague Advocate Tony Mostert are sitting in court figuring out what happens next after Judge Salie- Hlophe's abrupt departure.

Court resumes at 2.15pm. 

06 Dec 11:59

06 Dec 11:21

Gayaat-Salie says he has pursued the point sufficiently, but VD Spuy says now his examination of Stoloff has been interrupted.

"Sorry does the court wish to interrupt me as well now?" he asks.

The judge takes exception to VD Spuy waving a finger at her, and adjourns.

06 Dec 11:20

Jude Salie-Hlophe wants to know what Rohde clinic situation has to do with evidence in mitigation of sentence.

"This is not a bail application," she says. VD Spuy says it is germaine to the case and shows Rohde's illingness to cooperate.

06 Dec 11:13

06 Dec 11:13

Asked to come to court on 6th to exlplain letter written on the 5th.

 - Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe interupts. Requests information relevant to going forward with sentencing.

"A lot of this information has been dealt with already, is already before me. the purpose of these proceedings is to get evidence in mitigation," Salie-Hlophe says.

"This is not a bail application."

06 Dec 11:10
Stoloff says when he saw Rohde in January he was experiencing a severe major depressive episode, and was expressing suicidal thoughts. Stoloff said he was worried about Rohde and recommended medication and Rohde agreed to be admitted to Crescent to recover.

06 Dec 11:09
Police showed up at his office, saying Rohde needs to come to court. Telephoned his attorneys. They confirmed court order, but could not show it.

06 Dec 11:05
Cognitively, he was not working sharply enough to represent himself adequately at that time (in court). 

06 Dec 11:04

06 Dec 11:03
31 January assessment: assessed Rohde, he was extremely depressed, almost monosyllabic, unable to concentrate fully. Hopeless and despairing about the future.

06 Dec 10:59

Mr Rohde does not have a psychotic illness.

He was not insecure.

Stoloff says Rohde is even tempered, in that he is neither volatile nor disregulated (unstable) and there is no history of him being prone to outbursts rage. He is the person who backs down and walks away. 

06 Dec 10:56
"He does not externalise blame. This is evident in enourmous guilt," - Stoloff reads.

06 Dec 10:54
Stoloff said Rohde was unshaven, in slip slops, concerned about the welfare of his children. He did not have symptoms of severe depression, not suicidal and expressed some hopefulness for the future. In stark contrast to severe depression of January, when he was treated.

06 Dec 10:54

Stoloff has prepared a report regarding Jason Rohde and it is handed up as an exhibit. It is the history of his involvement with Rohde as his treating psychiatrist from 8 September 2016, to present.

Last saw him on 13 November in hospital wing of Pollsmoor, unshaven.

06 Dec 10:53
Rohde's defence is taking the court through specialist psychiatrist Dr Stoloff's credentials after he graduated from UCT. This includes work in Manchester, London, Hertfordshire, including Wormwood Scrubs prison.

06 Dec 10:48

06 Dec 10:48

06 Dec 10:46
Do not intend to call the accused himself.

06 Dec 10:46

Defence confirms other witnesses they intend to call to the stand:

- Do intend to call the eldest daughter of the accused, Kathryn Rohde.

- Two colleagues/friends of the accused.

- Mother of the accused -  Brenda Rohde

06 Dec 10:43
All rise. The Rohde pre-sentencing resumes.

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