Daughter demands justice as trial yet to start 566 days after mom’s murder
566 days after woman’s body found in home, trial has yet to start
Durban - “Wishing this incredible man a very happy Birthday. Hope you have a fantabulous day.”
That was the Facebook post in September 2018 from a vivacious Jenny King, 55, to Durban musician Charles "Charlie" Ridgway.
Four months later, King was found dead on the floor in her Forest Hills home and Ridgway, 56, was arrested for her murder.
This week, as Ridgway appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court, King’s daughter, Lee-Anne, said it had been 566 days since she had found her mother’s body on the bedroom floor and that her family were still waiting for justice.
“My mother was a lively, jovial five-foot-nothing firecracker. She loved her children and her grandchildren.
“Last year she missed her son’s wedding. I hope that today we get a date for the trial to start,” said King, who, outside the court, had supporters with her protesting against violence against women as Women’s Month starts today.
The women had placed a large poster at the foot of the court stairs detailing "SA’s Fallen Angels", which was a movement started by Cindy September after the brutal murder of Cape Town horse showjumper Meghan Cremer in August 2019.
The long and heartbreaking list, which is hosted on sapeople.com, had reached 702 names on Wednesday.
Lee-Anne said: “That Saturday I found my mom; on Monday I opposed bail, by Tuesday the accused had been given bail and walked free.
“Since then the process has been gruelling. When we are waiting outside the court, there's no separation between the accused and the victim’s families. There seem to be no consequences, people are more afraid of being caught driving without a mask these days than for killing someone.
“As women, we tend to be accepting, and we need to learn as women to know your own worth and use that strength inside yourself.”
Later, inside Regional Court 2, Lee-Anne and her brother, Kyle King, sat in the gallery, dressed in T-shirts printed with the slogan #justiceForJen, as Ridgway stood in the dock.
The case was postponed to September 21 for a decision by the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions).
It has been alleged the couple had an altercation on the Friday night before King’s death. Court documents indicated King died as a result of injuries from an “unknown object”.
Ridgway was released on R2000 bail on January 15, three days after the murder.
During subsequent court appearances, Ridgway’s defence lawyer told media his client was looking forward to his name being cleared and being acquitted of the murder charge, adding Ridgway was also frustrated with the delays in the court process and wanted justice for King.
The Independent on Saturday