Durban - A South African national, convicted of killing a 69-year-old pensioner in England where he was a taxi driver, was granted bail in the Pinetown Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges of stealing a horse saddle and a surf knee board.
Glen Brian Galley was granted bail of R6 000 by Magistrate Terence Buthelezi, who rejected the State's assertion that Galley was a flight risk. He granted Galley bail of R5 000 for the horse saddle theft charge and R1 000 on the other theft charge.
Galley told the court that he intended pleading guilty to the theft of the knee board but that he would plead not guilty to stealing the saddle.
The State had opposed bail for the unemployed Galley with Prosecutor Adele Clive telling the court that Galley had been dishonest with the court, that he had no assets and had no fixed address.
Galley, who took the stand, told the court that he had not worked for the past three months and was being supported by his fiancee. He said he had no valid passport and that he would not be a danger to society. Galley said that he was not out on parole after he was released in April 2014, for a murder conviction in the UK and then he got deported to South Africa.
“I finished my sentence completely and was released,” he said.
He told the court that he was deported after surrendering his British passport and was told that he could never return to “a territory anywhere in the world that flies the British flag”.
However, investigating officer Sikhona Mchunu told the court that he had been unable to ascertain how Galley entered the country. “In [the Department of] Home Affairs they have no record of him coming back into the country. I don't know if the accused is here legally.” He said that all he could find with the department was a record of an expired South African passport.
Mchunu said he was still waiting to hear from Interpol and the British High Commission on the status of Galley.
It emerged that both Galley's brothers and his mother lived in the United Kingdom and that he had a daughter.
Galley admitted that his relationship with his 17-year old daughter had deteriorated and he did not have contact with her. Mchunu told the court that the daughter wanted nothing to do with him. “She is hiding away from him. If the applicant (Galley) does not know where she stays, it is because she is hiding from him.”
Mchunu told the court that Galley had attacked one of his witnesses before his arrest. He said that Galley's fiancee had given notice at the address at which Galley claimed he would stay if released on bail.
Buthelezi, in handing down his decision said that the State had failed to provide any evidence that Galley was a flight risk or would be a threat to any witnesses. He said the fact that the accused was unemployed and had no assets was insufficient grounds on which to refuse bail. The case was adjourned to October 18.