Scottburgh Court Round-up

DRUG OFFENCES

• Monday August 14, got off to a sad start with no fewer than 8 new drug offenders. These ranged in age from an 18 year old male arrested for possession of 40 grams of dagga, to a 49 year old mother of four, arrested for possession of 3 grams of dagga. The fines ranged from R200 or 20 days in prison to R500 or 50 days in prison. Two of the young offenders were referred to a social worker. On Tuesday, August 15, another two drug offenders appeared in court. A 19 year old unemployed male from Kelso was cautioned and discharged and a 50 year old father of two was fined R200 or 20 days in prison.

• A 33 year old foreign national and his female co-accused appeared in court for the second time, charged with dealing in cocaine. The male was granted R1 000 bail and left the court in a jubilant mood with two of his friends. The case was remanded to October 18.

• Another 4 new offenders appeared in court on August 16. Three of the men pleaded guilty to charges of possession of dagga. The youngest was cautioned and discharged. The other two were fined R200 or 20 days in prison and R600 or 60 days in prison respectively. The fourth male, charged with possession of / dealing in heroin, was remanded in custody pending the payment of R2 000 bail. His case was remanded to October 18.

• On August 18, a male appeared on a charge of possession of heroin. He admitted that he was already due to appear on court on another charge, on September 21. He was remanded in custody pending his release into the custody of a relative.

OFFENCES AGAINST THE PERSON:

• An elderly male appeared in Regional Court 5 on a charge of child rape. He had difficulty in hearing the magistrate explaining the charge and the minimum sentence attached to the crime. Because of the age of the alleged victim, the trial will be heard in camera.

• A male who appeared to be both hard of hearing and of limited mental capacity appeared on a charge of assault. He was referred to the district surgeon for psychiatric assessment. His case was remanded to August 22. A second male, also charged with assault, and sporting some nasty facial wounds, was remanded to August 31.

TRAFFIC OFFENCE:

• A 27 year old electronics engineer from Durban pleaded guilty to travelling at a speed of 221 kph on the N2 southbound. In mitigation of sentence, he said that he had been racing to deliver insulin to his diabetic sister who was on holiday at San Lameer. He was sternly reprimanded by the magistrate and fined R30 000 or 10 months in prison, half suspended for 5 years. The court agreed not to suspend his licence as he had stated that his job was dependent on his having a driver’s licence.

• A 31 year old school teacher and father of two, pleaded guilty to driving at a speed of 222 kph on the freeway near Ellingham. In mitigation of sentence he stated that he was rushing home to attend to a sick child, who is an epileptic. He was fined R30 000 or 10 months in prison. In view of the fact that he teaches at a rural school where there is no alternative means of transport, the court agreed not to suspend his licence.

THEFT & ROBBERY:

• A number of the accused in the so-called Cable Theft Trial, have appeared in court during the last fortnight. Unfortunately, because of the threat of violence by these men, the court has been closed to members of the public, so it has been difficult to determine what is happening in the case. Information filtering through indicates that many of the accused are entering into plea bargains with the state in an effort to reduce their jail time. At least one gang member, who pleaded guilty to the charges, was given a suspended sentence, and walked out of court as a free man.

• Five of the six men accused of robbing the Surfers’ Paradise shop in Thira Village in Scottburgh, were remanded in custody until August 24. The sixth man was released.

OTHER OFFENCES:

• A father of two, who had been arrested for failing to appear in court on the date of his trial, admitted that he knew that it was an offence to ignore a court appearance, but that he had been unable to contact the defence witnesses needed for his trial and had therefore decided not to come to court, rather than to stand trial without a defence. He was remanded in custody pending the payment of R300 bail and a new trial date was set for September 6.

  AUTHOR
MSCRS Reporter

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