Kimberley - The bail application of well-known Kimberley businessman Louis Meades, who is facing a number of charges including attempted murder, malicious damage to property and domestic violence, will continue in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
Meades allegedly tried to kill his girlfriend recently by running over her with his bakkie.
While the State on Wednesday painted a picture of the complainant, Meades’ girlfriend Suemane Kramer, as fearing for her life after being threatened by the accused, the defence advocate, Jessie Clark, indicated that the incident could have just been a lovers’ tiff.
The alleged incident is believed to have taken place in an open piece of veld in Southridge on January 23 at approximately 7.30pm.
Kramer stated in an affidavit, which she made when she obtained a protection order against Meades about a week after the alleged incident, that she had met Meades in November 2018 and moved in with him at his home in McClintock Street in December.
“I was aware that he used medication on a daily basis but I am not sure of the full details and I am concerned that he is possibly addicted to medication.”
She stated that Meades displayed violent tendencies on a number of occasions, such as smashing a coffee mug and throwing glasses around.
According to her affidavit, he also shot her two tablets (mobile devices) with his pistol.
“He was also violent towards me and hit me with his open hand, as well as physically throwing me out of his car and then chasing after me with the car, presumably to drive me over.”
Kramer stated further that Meades had hit her with his fists at his mother’s house.
She also described incidents where Meades allegedly pulled jewellery off her and cut her watch off her arm.
“He made death threats and pushed me over a motorbike and pulled my hair.”
Giving evidence against Meades’ bail application in court on Wednesday, Celeste Louw, the deputy president for Optimystic Bikers Against Abuse, said Kramer had feared for her life after she received a bouquet of flowers, a SIM card and a note posted on her gate.
The card stated: “Ek is jammer. Ek is baie lief vir jou. Ek sal enige iets doen vir jou.” (I am sorry. I love you lots. I will do anything for you.) The SIM card apparently belonged to Meades, which he used during their relationship.
Louw also submitted to court a screenshot of a Facebook post made by Meades, asking anyone for information about Kramer’s whereabouts and offering to pay R2 000 for this information.
Advocate Clarke said that Meades denied sending the flowers and the SIM card but did not deny the Facebook screenshot. He said that according to Meades he was concerned about her safety.
The representative for the State, Bongene Timothy, requested that the court takes into consideration that Meades had previous protection orders taken out against him by other women.
Magistrate Dolly Makoto pointed out, however, that Meades had never been found guilty of any previous criminal charges and the protection orders could not be considered as evidence of previous incidents.
In response to a question by Clarke whether she had seen any visible injuries on Kramer when she saw her a week after the incident, Louw said that there were marks and bruising, but by that time they had started to fade.
Kramer was referred to Optimystic Bikers Against Abuse by a friend to receive support from the organisation.
Louw conceded in court that Kramer had not been seen by a doctor after the alleged incident.
“There is no medical record of her injuries or photos,” she said. “There were still marks on her face and body although they had faded.”
Clarke submitted that Louw had put ideas into Kramer’s head, encouraging her to lay charges against Meades and to obtain a protection order, when she met her six days after the incident.
Meades, in his statement read out in court, said Kramer had taken medication on the day of the incident and wasn’t her usual self.
Questioned about this, Louw said she had not spoken to the doctor who had treated Kramer.
“I didn’t speak to the doctor. I was only informed that she was given two Ativan tablets which, according to my research, would not have had much of an effect on her. You would need to consume quite a lot to have the effect the defence is claiming the tablets had on her.”
In Meades’ statement, he admitted that he and Kramer were in a relationship. “She was my girlfriend.”
He added that, according to him, Kramer was under sedation on the night of the incident and wasn’t acting like herself.
“On the day of the incident, she was with me and wasn’t aggressive until I told her I was breaking up with her. She immediately became aggressive,” Meades said in the statement.
Meades went on to deny attacking or kidnapping her. “She drove with me from my parents’ house and afterwards my son dropped her off at her home.
“I further deny that I wanted to drive her over or kidnap her.”
Meades went on to admit that the two were involved in an argument, “but it came from both sides”.
He indicated that he could afford bail of R1 000.
The hearing will continue on Thursday.
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