Fairweather inquiry to settle blame

Cape Town - The family of former Western Province cricket player Luke Fairweather, who was shot dead during a scuffle with a traffic officer outside Newlands cricket grounds three years ago, has vowed to “fight on” if the officer is absolved of culpability for the death.

Yesterday attorneys for the family and City of Cape Town traffic officer Ian Sinclair submitted heads of argument in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court. The death is subject to a formal inquiry, after criminal charges against Sinclair were dropped.

Traffic Officer Ian Sinclair with his lawyer, John Riley File picture: Jason Boud. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Fairweather, 49, died after being shot in the stomach in January 2011. The altercation was sparked by Sinclair ticketing Fairweather’s mother for illegal parking. The argument escalated into a scuffle, during which Sinclair reached for his gun. A shot went off and Fairweather collapsed.

William Booth, the attorney for the Fairweather family, said the magistrate would rule on May 22 whether anyone was to blame for Fairweather’s death.

“We have argued that Sinclair was at least negligent, that his negligence led to (Fairweather’s) death, and that he is therefore culpable. Fairweather was unarmed. Sinclair should never have taken his firearm out.”

Booth said Sinclair did not call for help from colleagues standing nearby.

Sinclair’s attorney, John Riley, agreed that the drawing of a firearm would have been unreasonable if Sinclair had been dealing with a “normal person”. He said: “But all the evidence shows that Fairweather was out of control and extremely aggressive.

“One witness said that Fairweather was like an uncontrollable animal.”