Thursday, September 14, 2006

Celine's murderer pleads not guilty

By Tarryn Le Chat
14 September 2006

James Barnes, the 31-year-old man accused of murdering four-year-old Celine Cowley, says that he is innocent and that he had never intended to plead guilty to the murder; but that the state had pressured him to do so.

The case has been postponed for three months so that Barnes can bring an application to have his conviction set aside and his guilty plea changed to one of not guilty.

The community, however, is fed up and protested outside the Cape High Court to say that they have had enough of criminals who are protected by the justice system.

Barnes had been assaulted in Pollsmoor Prison before he was brought to court and will not make it alive out of Pollsmoor if he is not transferred to another prison, the court heard.

Barnes sat in the dock, his head wrapped in a bandage and the hood of his top splattered with blood.

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