An alleged paedophile and child rapist has lost a bid in the Durban Regional Court to have the evidence against him – including thousands of sexually explicit images of minors – thrown out.
One of three men arrested in 2016 for their alleged involvement in a child pornography ring, Wayne Parkes’s trial got under way late last year.
And it started with a trial-within-a-trial, to establish the admissibility of evidence emanating from the search and seizure of two cellphones and a SIM card, which he claimed was carried out without a search warrant or his permission.
But when Parkes came before the court briefly yesterday morning for the magistrate to deliver her ruling, said this evidence was admissible and that his trial should continue.
She said she would provide reasons for her ruling at the end of Parkes’ trial, when she delivered judgment.
Parkes and his co-accused, who are being tried separately, were arrested by the KwaZulu-Natal Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences unit after one of them visited a website that was being monitored by the US's Department of Homeland Security.
Police subsequently raided his home, where they discovered child pornography. He then revealed the involvement of his two co-accused.
On raiding Parkes’s home, police discovered illicit images of a local child among the stash they unearthed. A statement was taken from the child, during which time allegations of rape and sexual assault emerged.
Parkes, who is from the Bluff, Durban, now faces two counts of raping a minor, 1517 counts of the creation of child pornography and 1 770 counts of the possession of child pornography.
His co-accused, who are from Pinetown and Waterfall, stand accused of accessing, sharing, downloading and distributing child pornography.
Parkes is due back in court next month and his co-accused in April.