News24 – SAPA
Cape Town – A reveller who was refused bail in January after his arrest for the alleged kidnapping, robbery and murder of a retired traffic officer was finally released on bail on Wesnesday – on “new facts”. Justin Shane Norton, 21, was granted bail of R2000 after launching a renewed bail application in the Cape Town regional court before magistrate Piet Nel. In the first week of January, he and four alleged accomplices were arrested for the murder of retired traffic officer Brian George Bland, whose body had been dumped at the entrance to the Portuguese Club in Milnerton. It is allged the five had been on a drinking spree at the time they kidnapped Bland at a supermarket in Milnerton. They go on trial in the Cape High Court on October 10 next year. After the first bail hearing, co-accused Bryan Snyman, 19, took his plight to the Cape High Court, who overruled the bail court’s ruling that there were no exceptional and compelling circumstances to justify his release on bail.
Nel agreed with defence attorney Keith Gess that Norton’s position should be “no more, no less favourable” than Snyman’s. Nel agreed also that the new facts – the appalling conditions in Pollsmoor Prison, and the fact that Norton had become a father – were exceptional circumstances. He said it was highly undesirable that Norton, as a father, should be detained until the start of the trial, taking into account he already had spent 10 months in custody. Nel said the information now placed before the court indicated an insubstantial case against Norton, and it was likely he would be acquitted. Those still in custody are Arthur Lancaster, 22, his brother Wesley, 20, and Snyman’s brother, Morne, 29.