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Durban - A normally subdued Durban accountant on trial for the murder of his former girlfriend has pleaded with the court to expedite his trial, saying he is “battling to cope”.
Nick Longano raised his hand to address the Durban High Court just as Judge Kate Pillay was about to postpone the matter to April next year.
“Please can we make it December, My Lady? I’m really battling to cope with this case,” Longano said.
Before closing its case on Thursday, the defence recalled expert witness forensic pathologist Reggie Perumal in the light of evidence by State witness Dr John Dunn, a senior psychiatrist at Fort Napier Mental Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.
Dunn had disputed the defence’s argument that Longano stood on the deceased’s neck for only five seconds.
He had said this was insufficient time for the high level of bruising to occur, which left an imprint of Longano’s shoe on the neck of the deceased.
Longano is alleged to have murdered Vinoba Naidoo by trampling on her neck with his boot, suffocating her.
The couple, who had broken up on July 10, 2010, were dividing up their possessions at their flat in Glenwood when they began arguing. Longano testified that there was a struggle and his next clear memory was of Naidoo lying on the floor. He is arguing a rare defence of non-pathological criminal capacity.
Yesterday, when Gideon Scheltema, SC, for the defence, asked Perumal about the time required for a bruise to occur, Perumal said the moment there was a rupture of blood vessels, bruising would occur.
“When a bruise is superficial, meaning when the dermal layer of the skin is intact, lesions develop rapidly. If it’s a vascular area, like the neck, the easier it is to bruise,” Perumal said.
He said it was not easy to put a “timing” on the bruise.
On the post-mortem report it was stated that Perumal was representing Naidoo’s family when he examined the body.
Perumal said on Thursday this must have been a “typo” because his expertise had been sought by the defence.
After counsel closed their cases it emerged that Judge Pillay’s next criminal session was only in April. Longano pleaded with the court to hear his matter sooner. It
was set down for closing remarks on January 23.