| 10.1°C Dublin

Honeymoon murder suspect in hospital row

Honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani surrendered himself to police after getting into a "heated discussion" with another patient at the Priory Hospital, it emerged today.

He was transferred to a secure mental health hospital following his behaviour over the weekend, which was said to have been sparked by an "adverse reaction" to his medication.

The British businessman, who is wanted in South Africa over claims that he ordered the killing of his new bride there, was on bail at the Priory in Bristol pending his extradition hearing.

A source close to him said: "He had a reaction to his medication, which meant he was loud and noisy. There was no fight or argument but one female resident got in a heated discussion with him and was taunting him and saying, 'You should go back to South Africa'."

He gave himself up to police on Sunday and appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court yesterday, where a district judge ruled he should be moved to Cygnet Hospital Kewstoke, Somerset.

Dewani (31) from Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol, is said to be suffering from severe post-traumatic stress syndrome after the shooting of his wife Anni Dewani (28) in Cape Town last November.

His symptoms were said to have dramatically worsened last week after he reacted badly to his anti-depressants, culminating in Saturday night's incident.



surrendered

His psychiatrist, Dr Paul Dedman, said it was likely he suffered an adverse reaction to the medication, according to friends of Dewani. One said: "In Shrien's mind he's confused as to what happened (before he surrendered himself to police). He's not certain."

The South African authorities want to extradite him and have made repeated courtroom bids to have him remanded in custody. But at yesterday's court hearing it was decided his psychiatric healthcare needs would be best met at the Cygnet Hospital, his brother Preyen Dewani said.

The young businessman had been on bail at his home but was last month admitted to the Priory -- which specialises in treating mental health problems -- after taking an overdose of pills in February.

Dewani remains subject to £250,000 bail and strict conditions including a curfew and the requirement that he report daily to a local police station.

Mrs Dewani, from Sweden, was shot when a cab the couple were travelling in on their honeymoon was hijacked in the Gugulethu township.

She was found dead in the back of the abandoned taxi with a bullet wound to her neck after cabbie Zola Tongo drove the newlyweds to the township.

Tongo originally claimed his vehicle was held up and he and Dewani were ejected before Mrs Dewani was driven away and killed. But in a plea bargain later, Tongo claimed Dewani offered him £1,400 to arrange the killing. Dewani denies arranging a hit on his wife.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy