Private eye plans to sue state after assault acquittal

2019-01-31 15:15
Private eye Brad Nathanson (left) and his colleague, Shane Brits, outside Mpumalanga Magistrate’s Court yesterday after having been discharged on assault charges. PHOTO: kerushun pillay

Private eye Brad Nathanson (left) and his colleague, Shane Brits, outside Mpumalanga Magistrate’s Court yesterday after having been discharged on assault charges. PHOTO: kerushun pillay

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Private eye Brad Nathanson says he feels vindicated after being discharged on criminal assault charges on Wednesday. 

He also plans to sue the state.

Nathanson and his colleague Shane Brits were acquitted on Wednesday on two charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm of Bernice Rich and her former fiancé, Glen Galley, in an incident in 2017.

The Mpumalanga Magistrate’s Court in Hammarsdale granted an application for their discharge brought by their attorney, Alex Crockart.

Crockart’s application followed a decision by the prosecution to close its case despite not yet having called Galley to testify in the matter.

Crockart said that Rich, who had testified on Tuesday and Wednesday had given “poor” evidence which was full of contradictions.

During cross examination, she had even admitted to lying about some evidence.

He said she had “flippantly smiled” while admitting to fabricating evidence, and that she had admitted under cross examination that she had in fact instigated the alleged fracas by pushing Nathanson.

Magistrate T.S. Boloko agreed that there were several “loopholes” in Rich’s evidence.

“What she’s done in court is highly unusual,” Boloko said.

“At my age, I’m seeing it for the first time — admitting to fabricating evidence, saying ‘I can’t recall’, ‘I don’t know’, ‘ignore my statement and use my oral evidence’, and admitting to lying under oath”.

Boloko agreed with the defence that the pair could not be convicted of assaulting Rich on the strength of her evidence.

He said they also could not be convicted of an assault on Galley because he did not present any evidence for the state’s case.

As a result Boloko acquitted both men.

An elated Nathanson told The Witness outside court that he intends to file a civil claim against the state for malicious prosecution.

“I have made about 11 court appearances for this case and it has cost me a fortune.

“I can’t understand how such a weak case got so far.

“Truth and justice prevailed today. That’s all I cared about.”

He added that the entire affair affected his reputation.

“This story went viral, and people were saying I’m a woman abuser. It’s done me harm.”

Nathanson said he has had several run-ins with Galley since 2015.

Galley is currently in prison for sexually assaulting a six-year-old in Durban.

Nathanson and Brits had pleaded not guilty to assaulting Rich and Galley and maintained throughout that at the time of the alleged incident they were helping a police officer who was going to arrest Galley at his home.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court case

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