Penny Hunt’s ex-secretary accused in court of lying

2016-02-02 10:49
Advocate Penny Hunt arrives at the high court.

Advocate Penny Hunt arrives at the high court. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A former secretary of KZN advocate Penny Hunt, who spilled the beans over her alleged involvement in bugging the advocates’ chambers, has been accused in court of being a “liar, devious and dishonest”.

Allyson Bradbury is a witness in the case in which the Society of Advocates of KZN is seeking to have Hunt struck off the roll of advocates.

Bradbury has told Judge Albert Kruger and Judge Connie Mocume that, while she was still working for Hunt, she had found a file on the advocate’s computer which led her to believe she was bugging the office of the Pietermaritzburg bar administrator, Esme van der Watt.

She has testified that she heard a recording of “what sounded like” Van der Watt’s voice when she opened a program titled “Audacity” on Hunt’s computer and clicked on a file. 

She did this having earlier noticed the existence of the program on the computer, and after Van der Watt allegedly confided to her that she suspected her office was being bugged, and had changed the locks on her door.

Bradbury, who verbally resigned the same day (March 10, 2011) after an argument with Penny Hunt, testified that she reported what she had found to bar chairperson Adrian Rall, SC.

Bradbury denied that she did this to “put the boot in” to Penny Hunt and cause her maximum harm, but admitted that she knew that the advocate would get into trouble over it. 

Bradbury was cross examined throughout yesterday by Peter Hodes, SC, who is representing Hunt. He confronted her with numerous allegations, including her “dishonest” conduct during her acrimonious 2009 divorce from her ex-husband, Ryan Shrives, and her maintenance inquiry (in relation to which she was assisted by Penny Hunt and her husband Cameron Hunt, SC). 

Among allegations put to her, which she denied, was that she had “hacked into” or intercepted her ex-husband’s e-mails while their divorce was still pending.

She testified that she legitimately had access to his e-mail accounts while she and her husband were still married as they ran a guest house business together. 

Bradbury denied suggestions that she had accessed confidential e-mails or other information from the Hunts’ computer system after leaving their employment.

The case is proceeding. 
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  court

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