Protection Services Superintendent Dave Middleton will know on 19 December whether his latest bail application has been successful. In an affidavit read to Magistrate Piet Coetzer in the Port Shepstone Magistrate on Thursday by his legal council Larry Seethal, Middleton appealed for the decision to refuse him bail, be overturned. The decision not to grant him bail by Judge Coetzer, was upheld by the High Court in Pietermaritzburg three weeks ago.
His Regional or High Court trial date is due to be determined at the end of January, and Middleton has been in jail for about three months. Seethal appealed to the judge to grant Middleton bail, because he said, new evidence had come to light that one of the key witnesses, the mother of one of the children involved, might have lied in her affidavit and that somebody else could have raped her child. Furthermore, Seethal said, compared to other bail applications, it seemed that the State was inconsistent or selective when granting bail. He referred to other cases where the charges had been much more serious, and in which the accused had been granted bail. In addition, Seethal said, his client had suffered severe financial setbacks because of his sojourn in jail: his salary payments stop on 15 December, he had lost the Avis franchise at Margate airport, his security company was close to bankruptcy because of lost contracts, the HCM had cancelled his contract to run the restaurant at the airport and he had been financially ruined. He appealed to Judge Coetzer to grant bail based on these factors, specifically the new evidence that the defence had sourced.
Judge Coetzer pointed out that this was a bail hearing, and not the occasion to argue about, inter alia, who was lying and who was not. That should happen during the trial. Mr. Seethal countered by saying although he agreed with that statement, he was nevertheless of the opinion that the facts upon which the original decision to refuse bail had been taken, had changed.
The State Prosecutor was still of the opinion that bail should be refused, and stated that the prosecution had in its possession two affidavits from two young children in which they accuse Middleton of rape. It was still an extremely serious matter. Judge Coetzer said he would have to consider the application, and would pronounce judgement on the agreed date.
Middleton has pleaded not guilty to the rape charges, as well as sexual assault, sexual grooming of a child, display of child pornography and intimidation.
EDITOR’S NOTE: WE HOPE TO HAVE A VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH MR. LARRY SEETHAL IN THE NEXT TWO DAYS IN WHICH HE WILL BE QUESTIONED ON THE DETAILS OF THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS.