Prisoner detective constable escapes after bail denied

Police officer awaiting trial escaped from the East London Magistrate’s Court holding cells on Friday after he was denied bail.

GATEKEEPERS: Court orderlies appeared in court yesterday accused of helping a prisoner to escape Picture: ZWANGA MUKHUTHU

He was rearrested in Komani within 24 hours during an intelligence-driven operation.

Three court orderlies have now been arrested and charged with aiding the prisoner to escape.

The prisoner was Aliwal North detective constable Romeo Sarin Oerson, in custody for attempted murder. The policeman allegedly shot and wounded his 21-year-old girlfriend, who was a student at Walter Sisulu University in Southernwood, East London, in June.

Oerson was granted R10000 bail on June 12 with strict conditions, including that he should not threaten or intimidate the young woman.

He was rearrested on August 3 for breaching his bail condition.

During his cancellation of bail last week the court heard that soon after his release, the officer continued to call and sent 14 text messages a day to the young woman until she fled to Bloemfontein in fear for her life.

Magistrate Merwin Meyer revoked Oerson’s bail on Friday and ordered he be remanded in the West Bank prison until the trial is finalised.

His case was postponed to October 12 for further investigation, including witness statements and ballistic results.

Oerson was escorted to the holding cells where he was due to wait for other prisoners before being transported to prison.

He was discovered missing during a prisoners’ head count.

Court room CCTV cameras showed him walking out of the premises using an electronic access card.

 

Yesterday three East London Magistrate’s Court orderlies appeared before magistrate Rochelle Sam charged with Oerson’s escape.

They are Sergeant Zithulele Mrwebo, 57, Constable Caroline Cummings, 39, and Constable Thando Jojozi, 39. The officers were released on R1000 bail each.

 

The case was postponed to October 19 for further investigation.

 

Oerson will appear in court this morning to face additional charges of escaping from lawful custody. — zwangam@dispatch.co.za

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