The accused testified he had slapped and strangled her, then hid her body under a duvet on the back seat of an old, disused car that was parked in her driveway.
Durban – Shaun “Rooster” Pillay, the man accused of killing the wife of the bed-ridden man he was hired to care for, was actually in love with her.
This has emerged in Pillay’s murder trial in the Durban Magistrate’s Court, which is set to hand down judgment next month.
Pillay, 36, is accused of killing Veronica Moodley at her home in Shallcross in December 2016.
Evidence is that Moodley, 45, had caught Pillay watching pornography on his cellphone before they began arguing.
Pillay had testified he had slapped and strangled her, then hid her body under a duvet on the back seat of an old, disused car that was parked in her driveway.
He then told her husband Ricky she had gone on a trip to Johannesburg before leaving the bedridden man with some “cooldrink, biscuits and a pee bottle”.
Pillay fled the home with Moodley’s car and cash, which he used on hotel accommodation and drugs, the court had heard.
Pillay has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and robbery, telling the court he had been high on drugs at the time of the incident.
Prosecutor Vaneshree Moodley has argued he is responsible for the death based on the application of legal principle dolus eventualis, whereby a person can be convicted of murder if they foresaw the possibility of their actions resulting in the death of someone but continued regardless.
This is how disgraced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, after the State appealed his earlier conviction of culpable homicide.
The prosecutor argued that when Pillay put his hand around Moodley’s neck and choked her, she was gasping.
“He understood she was in trouble and did nothing. But in a previous incident, when she was having an epileptic seizure, he called for medical assistance and at that time he was not the cause of that.”
Moodley further argued his behaviour after the incident showed it was never his intention to call for help. Instead, he concealed her body in a car.
“If he was so panicked he should have just left. His actions showed that of an unlawful person. When the evidence is seen in totality, it’s dolus eventualis.”
Pillay’s Legal Aid lawyer argued his client had no intention of killing Moodley as she was the “goose that laid the golden egg”.
He questioned why would Pillay leave a woman who was giving him attention.
He argued the cause of Moodley’s death was not known as her body was badly decomposed.
“When he threw her he did not expect she would die. He hit her because he was angry and did not stab her repeatedly.
“He had no intention to kill but he panicked, stupidly, and continued to take drugs to block out what he had done.”
He argued that Pillay had not foreseen that she would die.
The attorney described the couple as being in love with each other.