Murder accused acquitted

The deceased...Jerome John.

The Bayview father of two, who was charged for the murder of a Havenside man, was acquitted after he was found not guilty at the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court, on Tuesday.

Forty-four-year-old Rajesh Singh said he was relieved that justice prevailed and that the court found that he acted in self-defence. He was initially charged after he stabbed his girlfriend’s nephew, 26-year-old Jerome John, at his home in Sanyo Place after an altercation in April 2015. John died in his mother’s arms at the doorstep of his house after he sustained stab wounds to his abdomen, chest and neck.

Although he was acquitted, Singh said that people still look at him as a murderer and he had to flee his home after receiving death threats.

“I was insulted and threatened in front of my elderly parents, which put them in distress. Members of the community asked me if I can dodge bullets and others said that they will hack me to death for what I have done. People do not understand that all I did was defend myself,” he said.

He added, “Everything happened so quickly on the day of the incident. I remember trying to fight Jerome off me as he was enraged and when my knife fell out of my pocket, I picked it up and swung it at him in an attempt to scare him off. When I managed to free myself, I then went to my mother’s house as I was out of breath. After a few minutes I returned to Jerome’s home to see if he needed medical attention as I felt bad for assaulting him, however, I was told that he had died. I am still deeply saddened and traumatised by the incident.”

Speaking on behalf of his client, Singh’s attorney, Noven Naidoo, said, “My client had maintained his innocence at all times. As of the time of his arrest he informed the arresting officers that he and acted in self-defence. It is unfortunate that this situation could not have been resolved without the loss of a human life, but sometimes the emotions get the better of people and they resort to violence. The court, in its wisdom, came to the conclusion that my client was not the aggressor on the day in question. Further to this, the evidence of the witnesses did not corroborate with the injuries sustained by the deceased. Accordingly, my client was found not guilty and discharged after the state closed its case.”

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Yoshini Perumal

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