Argus helps to get red tape victim out of jail

CAPE ARGUS

BRIN STINTON should have celebrated his 23rd birthday at home with his family – but instead he was in prison, the victim of bureaucracy. And it was only thanks to the intervention of the Cape Argus that he avoided a second weekend in a cell. Stinton, who was arrested in the early hours of Saturday, May 7, in connection with an allegation of robbery, should have been released on bail because he has a job, a fixed address and no previous convictions. But the investigator in the case was on leave when Stinton first appeared in court last Monday, and so could not confirm that Stinton had a fixed address. The case was postponed until today, with Stinton facing another week in Pollsmoor prison. But his upset parents contacted the Cape Argus and the resulting article prompted the authorities to send him back to the Cape Town Magistrate’s court on Friday, where he was granted bail of R500.00. A relieved Stinton said: “It’s a war zone in there (Pollsmoor)”. He declined to say more. But Stinton’s good fortune did not extend to the two friends arrested with him, Lloyd Mitchell, 20, and a third man identified only as David. Mitchell and David are expected to apply for bail today. Lawyer Josua Greeff, for Stinton and Mitchell, said he did not know why Mitchell had not been brought to court on Friday. Mitchell’s angry mother said on Friday her son had been robbed in prison of his expensive Nike sneakers and a jersey.