Sentencing delayed for Cape Town man who raped his girlfriend before she died

2018-10-29 14:18
Taariq Phillips (File, Netwerk24)

Taariq Phillips (File, Netwerk24)

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A medical emergency for a Cape Town advocate has led to a delay in the sentencing proceedings of a man found guilty of raping his girlfriend at a New Year's Eve rave – almost five years after the incident occurred.

Although Sharisha Chauhan died on New Year's Day of 2014 – a day after she was raped - her boyfriend Taariq Phillips was only convicted of rape.

The Western Cape High Court convicted Phillips in September and the case was back in court on Monday for sentencing proceedings.

READ: Cape Town man acquitted of murdering girlfriend at New Year's Eve rave

Phillips stood in the dock, wearing a white shirt, slim black tie and dark trousers.

However, the court was informed that the accused's advocate was not present because he had a sudden medical emergency last week. This rendered him unable to speak.

A picture was sent to the prosecutor Esna Erasmus to prove this.

Although unhappy with developments, Bozalek granted the request for a postponement, and told Duncan to make sure the doctor's note got to his chambers.

"I'll give you the 19th of November [to return]," said Bozalek. "You are running with or without advocate Moses." 

Bozalek warned Phillips' attorney, Greg Duncan, that they should bring a replacement advocate next time, if necessary.

"If Mr [Joey] Moses for whatever reason is not available, you will find other counsel," said Bozalek.

Night of dancing 

Phillips and Chauhan - both aged 21 - had been at a rave at Le Bac Estate in Paarl on New Year's Eve in 2013. She had taken LSD and MDMA during a night of dancing.

The court heard during the trial that Chauhan started feeling unwell and said that she felt like she was "melting". Phillips took her back to their tent and said they had sex.

Later paramedics were called because she was convulsing. She was treated on the scene and taken to hospital. 

She died on New Year's Day, 2014.

The post-mortem later found signs of vaginal and anal injuries, as well as signs of strangulation.

Bozalek found that the State had not proved that Phillips caused her death by strangulation, but found that in her state, Chauhan would have been unable to give consent to sex with Phillips.

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Read more on:    taariq phillips  |  cape town  |  courts

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