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The British man who killed a Durban woman in Dubai in 2008 has been ordered by a court to pay her family more than R2 million for their pain and anguish.
Kerry Winter, 36, was beaten with a baseball bat by her ex-boyfriend, Mark Arnold, who then disposed of her body by putting it in a bag, tying it with weights and dumping it at sea.
Her body was never found.
Now, Arnold, a British national, who was working in Dubai as a manager, and who was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering Winter on August 20, 2008, has been ordered by the Dubai Civil Court of Appeal to pay one million Dirhams (R2.23m) to her family: Dh500 000 (R1.1m) to her mother, Carol, and the other Dh500 000 to her two brothers, Kurt and Sean (Clint).
The judgment is subject to an appeal by the Cassation Court.
Carol Winter of Newlands East said yesterday that the money would not bring her daughter back and that she would use it to travel to Dubai to confront Arnold to find out where he put her daughter.
“I had no expectations: I am used to living a humble life. But if there is talk of money, I will use it to get to Dubai to speak to Arnold. I need to know what he did with Kerry and where she is.”
She felt that if she telephoned Arnold, he would “lie through his teeth”.
“There are things I want to ask him face-to-face. Kerry told me a lot of things which he does not know I know.
“He thinks he is in the clear but he won’t be able to pull the wool over my eyes.”
Her daughter’s belongings were still in Dubai and it was important for her to bring them back to Durban.
Kurt Winter said last night that he had already made it “quite clear” to Hussain Al Jaziri, the advocate who had acted for the family, that Jaziri could have his share of the compensation to cover his expenses.
“Hussain received an initial sum from us, but basically, he has been working for four years for nothing. And I am convinced that if it had not been for him, Arnold would not have received a life sentence,” he said.
Arnold initially received a 15-year sentence but he appealed and the sentence was increased to life imprisonment. Life in Dubai is 25 years.
Al Jaziri said in the civil lawsuit that Arnold had threatened his ex-girlfriend and inflicted severe pain on her.
“Kerry suffered emotional intimidation and extreme fear prior to her death.
“The defendant stalked her across Dubai… she had run away when she saw evil in his eyes.
“He took her by surprise and attacked her at the entrance to her residence.
“He threatened her neighbours who could not intervene. He then dragged her like a sheep into her car and drove away.”
The court found that Arnold had killed Winter, dumping her body in the sea and preventing her mother and brothers giving her a decent funeral or burial.
Kurt Winter said he had only brought the compensation case as it forced the authorities to hand over police documents to the advocate, which provided details about the case, which the lawyer and family had been unable to get.
“I initially sued Arnold for a token Dh20 000 (R44 500) to get that information,” he recalled.
Later when the life sentence became irrevocable, Al Jaziri lodged a civil lawsuit seeking Dh5m (R11.1m) in permanent compensation against his clients’ financial, emotional, psychological and moral damages, according to a report in the Gulf News.
The court ordered Arnold to pay Dh300 000 (R670 000) to the Winters – and both the lawyer and Arnold appealed to the Dubai Civil Court of Appeal, which increased the award and ordered Arnold to pay the Dh1m, the newspaper said.
Al Jaziri appealed as the compensation at that time did not cover his expenses, Kurt Winter said.
Carole Winter said that while she had no dealings with the lawyer herself, it was only fair that he got paid for his work.
“He has worked a long time on the case and I am grateful for it,” she said.
She had said she had still not come to terms with her daughter’s death and still hoped that she would walk through the door one day.
“I have nothing to say that she is dead…
“It would help if there was a body,” she said.