Jayde's fingers crushed in car boot lock

(Derrick Spies, News24)
(Derrick Spies, News24)

Port Elizabeth – Two of Jayde Panayiotou’s fingers were crushed in the lock of the car boot she was bundled into before she was driven off to be murdered, the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court heard on Thursday.

“The deceased had a laceration to two of her fingers on the right hand that would fit in with her hand being crushed in the lock mechanism of the boot,” investigating officer Lieutenant Rhynhardt “Kanna” Swanepoel said in an affidavit.

Jayde’s sister Toni broke down in tears as the document was read into record.

It was drawn up in response to murder accused Christopher Panayiotou’s 67-page affidavit, which he submitted in his latest attempt to secure bail. 

He is accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife, Jayde, in April last year. He lodged the new bail application after spending over a year in jail awaiting trial. The State was arguing that Panayiotou did not present any new evidence to justify getting bail.

In his affidavit, Panayiotou questioned how the State could argue that Jayde had suffered blunt force trauma and had been bundled into the boot of the hired car suspected of being used in her abduction and murder. 

Swanepoel said the post mortem had shown Jayde sustained “bilateral peri-orbital haemotomas” which were indicative of blunt force trauma.

Traces of blood were found in the boot, according to his affidavit.

He questioned how Panayiotou could claim there was no evidence placing the alleged hitman, Sizwezakhe Vumazonke, at the Stellen Glen complex from where Jayde was allegedly abducted on April 21 last year.

“I don’t know if the applicant is here trying to place new facts before court or whether he is indeed requesting further particulars,” Swanepoel said.

He said Vumazonke hired the car in his name, and his cellphone and the car travelled together at all times. The car’s tracker sent a signal every 10-12 seconds, showing exactly where it was, Swanepoel said. 

“The vehicle circled the complex approximately seven times before the deceased was abducted. With the last circle the vehicle drove onto the pavement and swerved into the entrance of the complex.”

“The State alleges that the vehicle was travelling at 20km/hour and 12 seconds later at 8km/hour. During that period the vehicle stopped and the deceased was kidnapped.”

It was clarified that this was Panayiotou’s second formal bail application. Magistrate Abigail Beeton first denied him bail following a protracted application between May and June 2015. He then appealed the decision in the Eastern Cape High Court in Grahamstown, which dismissed his appeal.

The application would continue on Friday.

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