‘Accused kicked, stomped on marine’s chest’Comment on this story
Blayne Shepard, one of the four alleged “Kings Park brawlers” on trial for the murder of former British Royal Marine Brett Williams, “kicked and stomped” on his chest as he lay on the ground and then “high-fived” someone standing nearby, the general manager of the firm responsible for security at the stadium testified on Wednesday.
Neil Burger, of Fidelity Security Services, told Durban regional court magistrate Trevor Levitt that this occurred in front of him and while a paramedic was at Williams’s side.
“He was stomping on his chest,” Burger said, stamping his foot on the floor of the wooden witness stand to illustrate his point.
He said he knew who Blayne Shepard was because he had been going out with a woman who worked for Fidelity and he had given Shepard’s first name and cellphone number to the police when they arrived on the scene that night.
Shepard is standing trial with his brother, Kyle, and friends Andries “AJ” van der Merwe and Dustin van Wyk for the murder of Williams who, on March 23 last year, was working on a ship docked in Durban’s harbour and had gone to the Sharks/Rebels match at the stadium that evening.
They are also charged with assaulting and swearing at security guards.
They have all pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Burger said that at about 10pm, he heard there was a fight near the Supporters’ Club and he had gone there on his golf cart.
“There appeared to be two groups in front of the tractor shed. One group seemed to be angry but there was no fight in progress and the situation seemed to have calmed down,” he said.
“I saw the deceased (Williams) standing near the pump station. Another man in a green T-shirt was standing in front of him, with his back to him, waving his arms as if to shoo people away and leave him alone.”
He said at that point, a man he now knows as Grant Cramer stepped away from the crowd, and spoke about looking for his chain, and walked past him in the direction of the field.
“I saw somebody take Cramer’s shirt and shake it in the front, asking whether the chain had fallen in front of it.
“At that stage, all hell broke loose. I saw a group of people rushing in the direction of the tractor shed. As they went, I got off (the golf cart) with the intention of intervening.
“I collected a punch on the right side of my face. Somebody hit me. I fell down on my butt. I had no idea who it was, I never saw it coming, I just felt it.”
Burger said he “shook his head” and got up and sat back on the golf cart.
It was then he saw Williams lying on the ground near a trailer next to the tractor shed.
“I saw accused number one (Blayne) kicking him and he stomped on him as well.
“He was lying on his back and it was on to his chest. He then walked past the golf cart. There was a person standing on the field - I have no idea who it was - and he gave him a high five.”
He said the paramedics were already there when he arrived on the scene and, at the time of Blayne’s attack on Williams, a woman was next to him at the pavement.
Burger said the police were called and he sent one of his men, Michael Norman, to follow a group of four - three men and a woman - who were going out of the stadium.
“I told him not to get into an argument or fight because I could identify two of them as being the one looking for the chain and one with the green shirt, and I knew the woman with them as Kirsten Cooper (Cramer’s girlfriend), because she also once worked for a company associated with Fidelity.”
He said the medics continued to attend to Williams and he was told later that he had died.
Questioned by prosecutor Krishen Shah, he said he could not remember what colour shirt Blayne Shepard had been wearing but he knew him, because he had been introduced to him once “a while ago”.
Burger will be cross-examined on Thursday.