Port Elizabeth – A magistrate has sent a man – accused of tracking down his estranged wife and repeatedly stabbing her before leaving her for dead in front of a friend’s house – to the hospital wing of St Albans Prison.
Martin Stevens, accused of stabbing his estranged wife AnnaMarie, appeared briefly in court on Tuesday.
AnnaMarie, 43, who was married to Stevens for six years and was in the process of divorcing him, was stabbed multiple times outside her friend’s flat in Sydenham shortly after 21:00 on October 14.
She is in hospital recovering. She was left partially paralysed by the attack, having no feeling in her fingers or her legs.
Stevens, 47, an Algoa Park cabinet-maker, disappeared after the attack. A Facebook post triggered a manhunt because there were fears he might take his own life.
He handed himself over to the police on Monday morning in the presence of his attorney, Dean Murray.
Wearing a white button-up shirt and a pair of jeans, Stevens fidgeted in the dock while waiting for his case to be heard on Tuesday.
Pending case of assault and protection order
Magistrate Lionel Alexander asked Murray if his client had any outstanding cases against him or any previous convictions.
Alexander told Stevens that it was a criminal offence to withhold any information about pending criminal cases or convictions and that he could face a fine of R40 000 or two years in jail if he withheld information.
Murray confirmed that Stevens was the accused in an assault case being heard at the New Brighton Magistrate’s Court.
He said the charge is common assault but the prosecutor had indicated it might be escalated to assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm. AnnaMarie is the complainant in the case.
Stevens is out on a warning and his firearm was confiscated. That case has been postponed to November 24.
Murray said his client had appeared in the Port Elizabeth High Court in 2000, after shooting his then ex-wife Hettie, 31, and her boyfriend Colin Roselee, also in his 30s.
He was acquitted on all charges in 2002 after the judge found that Stevens had suffered a psychotic episode.
Stevens tried to shoot himself after the attack on the couple but survived.
Murray said there was a case pending in the Domestic Violence Court and that an interim protection order had been issued against his client by AnnaMarie.
Murray asked the court to have Stevens held in the hospital wing of the St Albans Prison because his client had a previous mental disorder and was suffering from depression.
He said although Stevens is on anti-depression medication and had stabilised, he is still deemed a suicide risk.
He asked that Stevens be referred to a doctor from the district surgeon’s office on Wednesday for evaluation.
The State agreed and indicated that it would oppose bail.
Alexander ruled that Stevens be detained in the hospital section.
He will appear in court on Wednesday.
Derrick Spies, News24
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