Judgment on the bail application for murder accused Aldean Wilkinson will be handed down in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court next week.
JUDGMENT on the bail application for murder accused Aldean Wilkinson, 30, will be handed down in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court next week.
He was charged for the murder of Danielle van der Linde, 29 who was 10 weeks pregnant when she was stabbed to death at her sister’s home in Florianville on May 15.
The couple also have a nine-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.
The investigating officer testified that the murder weapon has not been found yet.
During closing arguments on Monday state prosecutor Thelisha Piedt informed the court that while Wilkinson had arranged alternative accommodation with family members in Postmasburg in the event he was released on bail, it had come to their attention that a 10-year-old minor residing in the same house was not comfortable with this arrangement.
She pointed out that Wilkinson whose fixed address in Kimberley was listed as Colville, stayed in close proximity to state witnesses.
“If he is granted bail, there are no guarantees that he will attend all court dates. Wilkinson should not be granted bail. A life was lost at the hands of an intimate partner while the family and children have been uprooted.”
Piedt indicated that it still had to be established during the course of the trial whether the couple’s nine-year-old son had witnessed the murder of his mother.
“The investigation is still in its preliminary stages. The family has enlisted the services of a social worker for the children and a forensic social worker needs to assist when a minor is under the age of nine years.
“It will induce a state of shock if Wilkinson is granted bail. From the first court appearance of the accused the gallery has been filled to capacity. Gender based violence is prevalent in society and keeping the accused in custody will minimise any risks. His safety is also not guaranteed if he is released.”
She believed that a high bail amount needed to be set with strict conditions should Wilkinson be granted bail.
Wilkinson previously indicated that he was able to afford bail of R2,000.
Piedt added that there were 164 signatories to a petition that was drawn up against gender based violence following the incident.
“The signatories are bound to the petition, it cannot be expected of them to divulge their identity document numbers and confidential particulars.”
Legal representative for Wilkinson, Kenneth Juries was of the opinion that the majority of supporters in the gallery were family members and not members of the community.
“Why should the community participate in denying my client bail? The community were agitated by the petition that claimed that a nine-year-old boy had to witness his mother being murdered in front of his eyes – which is based on a lie. It was confirmed under cross examination of the investigating officer that there were only four adults in the house at the time of the incident – there were no minor children nearby.”
Juries believed that the character of Wilkinson was tarnished in the media.
“This is not a case of a father killing his girlfriend and mother of his children in front of his son. If you analyse the amount of violence used, there was only one stab wound to the neck as well as a cut to the neck . If my client is not eligible for bail then I don’t know who is as he has a favourable profile and has no previous convictions.”
He stated that delays of up to six months were expected before the test results from the forensic laboratory would be made available.
“My client will suffer financial loss if he is unable to work. You cannot deny him bail based on speculations that he may flee or interfere with witnesses or intimidate the deceased’s sister or children as there is no history of such. Wilkinson handed himself over to the police and volunteered to assist in the investigation. ”
Judgment on the bail application will be handed down on June 13.