Fury as honeymoon murder suspect Shrien Dewani is given six months 'to recover' from shock of his wife's death
Dewani, 33, is being treated for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder while facing extradition to South AfricaThe court heard that he has 'adapted poorly' to treatmentHe is accused of ordering the murder of his wife Anni Dewani on their honeymoon in Cape TownHis extradition has been halted as he is suffering severe mental disorders
11:19 GMT, 4 December 2012
'Husk of a man': Shrien Dewani has 'adapted poorly' to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder as he faces extradition to South Africa to face charges of his wife's murder
The family of tragic honeymoon bride Anni Dewani have reacted with fury after the husband accused of her murder was given six more months to recover from the shock of her death.
Murder suspect Shrien Dewani is said to be terrified of travelling
in a car and spends his days playing computer games while facing
extradition to South Africa.
He denies hiring a hitman to murder his new wife and told police he escaped from the window of a cab in South Africa minutes before his 28-year-old wife was shot.
A judge in London was told he was not fit to face extradition to South Africa because of depression and post traumatic stress.
But Anni's 62-year-old father Vinod Hindocha said: 'What about my mental health and that of my family I am not sure who is going to crack first. Anni's mother and I have never had a proper night's sleep since Anni was taken from us.
'The wheels of British justice turn very slowly but we will continue to have faith in the system.'
Dewani, 33, is currently being treated in a secure mental health hospital for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) so he can be extradited to face charges of his new wife’s murder.
Anni, 28, was shot when a taxi the couple were travelling in was hijacked in Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010.
Dewani’s condition has worsened, making him a ‘husk of a man’, his lawyer Clare Montgomery told Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
She said: ‘He cannot travel by car as he has a severe reaction, he doesn’t want to get into a travelling car or go outside.
‘He doesn’t even want to go to the shops on his own,’ she added as the conditions of his bail were discussed.
‘In his current state it is unthinkable he would be able to plan any escape, let alone effect one.’
The court also heard that Dewani has flashbacks and remembers the smell of the breath of the man who held a gun to his head before hijacking his car and murdering his bride so vividly that it was ‘burned into his brain’.
Honeymoon murder: Dewani (pictured with Anni on their wedding day in 2010) is accused of ordering a cab driver to arrange the shooting death of Anni while on honeymoon in Capetown
His extradition to face trial in South Africa has been halted on the grounds he is suffering severe mental disorders.
court heard that he now spends his days sitting in a disused camper van
on the grounds of Fromeside Hospital, Bristol where he prays and plays
Giving evidence, his psychiatrist, Dr Paul Cantrell, admitted that Dewani had ‘adapted poorly’ to treatment and is suffering from severe PTSD and moderate depression.
He said: ‘His depression has moved into the moderate range, albeit in the lower range of that range in the borderlands between severe and moderate.
‘I am clear that his PTSD remains in the severe range. That PTSD has mutated over time and there are different aspects of it that now incapacitate him but the most difficult aspect is his hyper-arousal which make him highly sensitive to noise and now very clearly smell.
‘Something akin to the smell of the breath of the man that is burned into his brain who was holding a gun, by his account, to his head.’
His hyper-sensitivity to both smells and sounds ‘trigger the re-experiencing of those events in South Africa,’ Dr Cantrell said
The psychiatrist, who is not instructed by either the authorities or the defence, said: ‘When I say re-experiencing it is not just memory, it is as if he was there, that is how disabling it is.’
Dewani maintains that he is innocent of the allegations and was a victim of the hijacking before he was ordered out of the vehicle which drove off with his bride. Her body was found in the abandoned vehicle the next day.
Stressed: The court heard today that Dewani is terrified of car travel and vividly remembers the smell of the breath of the man who hijacked the car. He is currently being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression
Today the judge granted an application by his legal teams to vary his bail conditions so that he could move from Fromeside to Blaise View Hospital, also in Bristol, which has lower levels of security and was described as a more ‘open, relaxed and calm environment’.
Hugo Keith QC, representing the South African authorities, said the 32-year-old does not see himself as a patient at times, that he has fought against treatment and has been aggressive towards staff.
He also suggested that Dewani spends his time ‘in his camper van playing computer games’. Dr Cantrell agreed.
Dewani’s bail conditions include a 250,000 security, which has already been paid, not to leave the mental health hospital where he is required to spend nights without permission and to continue with his treatment.
Dewani’s extradition was ordered in August last year but proceedings were temporarily halted by the High Court in March on the grounds it would ‘unjust and oppressive’ to extradite him immediately because of his health.
Ms Montgomery said: ‘We are hoping and believe on the evidence he will recover, in which case he there is no battle at all apart from ensuring appropriate conditions in South Africa.’
The legal arguments against his
extradition will therefore be whether the conditions in South Africa are
sufficient to ensure he does not relapse into his ‘severe and disabling
‘At some point he will became fit to plead, he will no longer require
medical treatment and all that will be required is some reassurances on
the conditions in which he will be held.’
was arrested in December 2010 and has been held in secure units at
Fromeside Hospital as part of his bail conditions since in February last
year when he took an overdose in an apparent suicide attempt.
Family watches on: Both families packed the galleries to hear the proceedings including Dewani's father Prakesh Dewani (left with unidentified woman) and Anni's parents Vinod Hindocha and Nilam Hindocha (right) who revealed that the wait has been torture
The ‘constant noises’ and conditions at the hospital which houses ‘seriously disturbed patients’ are a ‘maintaining feature’ in his illness, Ms Montgomery said.
The South African authorities are requesting him on charges of murder, kidnap, robbery with aggravated circumstances, conspiracy to commit those offences and a charge of obstructing the administration of justice.
Ms Montgomery said: ‘He continues to express a desire to return to South Africa and face his trial.’
Both families packed the public the gallery to listen to the legal discussions.
A review hearing will be heard in April while the full hearing reviewing the decision will take place in June.
Outside the court Mrs Dewani’s uncle, Ashok Hindocha, said: ‘We accept the court’s decision today, we know these things take and British justice system is taking too much long time.’
Single shot: Anni was shot in the neck after the car she and Dewani were travelling in was hijacked, before he was ordered out of the car while on their honeymoon in Cape Town
Anni’s father, Vinod Hindocha, stood next to his brother as he revealed that he is travelling to South Africa tomorrow.
Ashok said: ‘He is leaving for South Africa tomorrow to make sure that justice is being done, we hope that justice will be done for us.’
Speaking about the final hearing date he said: ‘It is eight months of torture for our family, we have no other choice but to accept what the court says, but to wait.’
It is alleged that Dewani paid cab driver Zola Tongo to arrange the hit whilst on honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010. Their car was hijacked as it passed through the township of Gugulethu.
Tongo then ordered out Dewani but Anni was driven off by Xolile Mngeni and Mziwamadoda Qwabe who robbed her mobile phone, white gold diamond bracelet, Armani wristwatch and handbag before she was killed with a single shot wound to her neck.
Tongo’s middleman Monde Mbolombo and hijacker Qwabe admitted their roles in plea bargains in which they agreed to testify against the care home boss and received lighter sentences.
Terminally ill hitman Mngeni was found guilty last month of firing the shot which killed the Swedish engineer.