Friday 23 February 2018

Newlywed accused of murder is 'at risk of self-harm'

Caroline Gammell

Shrien and Anni Dewani on their wedding day. Bristol Evening Post

A NEWLYWED who is accused of murdering his wife on their honeymoon in South Africa is to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital as he is considered to be at risk of harming himself.

Englishman Shrien Dewani will become a patient today at The Priory in Bristol, where he will receive round-the-clock care and be monitored every 15 minutes.

Mr Dewani (31) is wanted by the South African authorities on suspicion of killing his wife Anni. He will keep his electronic tag and report to a police station each day.

Mrs Dewani (28) died after she was shot in an apparent raid on the couple's car on the outskirts of Cape Town last November. Her husband, who is said to be suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, denies any involvement in her murder and is fighting extradition.

Details of his new bail conditions were decided yesterday at Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in south-east London.

Unshaven and dressed in a tracksuit, Mr Dewani, a businessman, appeared confused as he sat in the dock.

The South African government had wanted Mr Dewani's bail to be revoked, arguing that a recent apparent suicide attempt meant it was increasingly likely that he would either kill himself or abscond.

Ben Watson, for the South African government, said the ambulance and police reports concluded that the swallowing of up to 46 pills at his home in Bristol last month had been a "deliberate overdose".

However, Mr Watson said his government was content for the defendant to be admitted to The Priory, as long as his curfew, tagging and police reporting conditions remained.


Julian Knowles, QC, for Mr Dewani, said his client would voluntarily consent to admission to The Priory. He said: "There is plainly some risk of self-harm here."

He told the court that when asked about his likelihood of fleeing, Mr Dewani had told doctors: "And go where? And do what?"

Outside court, a source close to the Dewani family insisted that the defendant had not tried to kill himself.

They quoted from the psychiatrist Prof Nigel Eastman's report, which said: "It is unlikely that he intended to kill himself on this occasion."

The extradition process is expected to continue at a hearing next month. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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