Secunda Regional Court Denies Bail for Phillip O’Neill – Ridge Times
Magistrate Graham Cupido denied bail to Phillip O’Neill (71) at Secunda Regional Court on Thursday July 28.
The case has now been adjourned to September 7, for completion of the inquest and a trial date in the High Court.
O’Neill is charged with the murder of his wife, Hester O’Neill (49).
O’Neill will remain in custody.
The court heard on Thursday that police suspected the weapon used to kill Hester on the night of June 1 was a firearm O’Neill had obtained while serving as a police reservist at a local police station many years ago.
The weapon was never returned to the police when he left.
O’Neill testified that he also provided training and that his “supervisor” told him to keep the firearm in his possession when he should have given further training.
A licensed Astra 9mm short firearm and live ammunition were confiscated from the scene of the murder.
While on the stand, Sergeant Bongani Mabaso said he received a call from the Secunda police call center about the shooting.
He further stated that O’Neill called Hester’s friend and said, “I shot Hester, you can come get her.” Also, bring the police with you.
It is alleged that an argument ensued between the couple at their home on Brandspruit Street in Secunda at around 10.35pm on the evening of the murder.
According to police reports, Hester told O’Neill that she wanted to leave him.
The police report indicates that she was shot in the back of the neck.
She was certified dead at the scene.
O’Neill and his defense did not approve of the Peak time‘ app to take pictures of his last court appearance.
The Crete Time argued that they must inform the community, that the story is in the public interest and that said murder highlights one of South Africa’s most serious crimes involving gender-based violence and domestic violence .
His defense said O’Neill had a right to dignity and the case was not in the public interest.
Magistrate Cupido ruled in favor of the Crete Time for pictures to be taken.
A 70-year-old man appears in Secunda Magistrates’ Court for the murder of his wife