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Roadblock cop killer was 'heavily drunk'
23/12/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
Struck down ... Otilia Magwenya
 
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A SPEEDING motorist who ran a roadblock and crashed a traffic police officer to death was wasted and could barely stand on his feet, a court has heard.

Jardine Heath Roy, 35, of Fortunes Gate in Bulawayo appeared before a magistrate last week charged with culpable homicide over the June death of Sergeant Otilia Magwenya, 36.

Giving testimony, Assistant Inspector Joseph Chavarika told the court that although Roy was cooperative during questioning at the scene of the crash, he sounded incoherent in speech and reeked of liquor.

His blood alcohol level was also way over the limit, police charge.

“When ordered to stand up from where he was seated, he was staggering and falling over,” Chavarika testified.

“This made me suspect that he was under the influence of alcohol, which prompted me to subject him to a breath test.”

Prosecutors say on June 3 this year, officers manning a speed trap checkpoint on a road leading into the city clocked Roy doing 137km per hour on a 70 km zone with his Land Rover Defender, opposite the United Bulawayo Hospitals.

Officer Magwenya, dressed in police uniform with reflective marks, stepped onto the road and signaled Roy to stop.

Instead, the suspect hit the gas and struck Magwenya, killing her instantly.

Earlier, another police officer, Ashton Govo, had testified that a breathalyzer test found Roy’s alcohol level over the top – reading 232 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.

But Roy has pleaded not guilty to both the culpable homicide and drunk driving charges.

He is out of custody on $500 bail. His trial resumes on January 7 with more witnesses taking the stand.

The trial was scheduled to start in September, but was put off after Roy was involved in another road accident that sent him to Intensive Care at Mater Dei Hospital.

Meanwhile, a police sergeant has been spared jail after his one-year conviction for assault was slashed to community service.

Hindrance Ndlovu, 26, was cleared of attempting to strangle his lover Charity Moyo to death on October 13, for complaining that he wasn’t giving her due attention.

But magistrate Judith Zuyu found him guilty of assault and sentenced him to 12 months in prison.

Zuyu, however, suspended six months on condition of good behavior and commuted the remaining six to 210 hours of community service.



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