Dros rapist Nicholas Ninow, who earlier on Monday pleaded guilty to four of the charges against him, offered drugs to the manager of the restaurant before raping his then seven-year-old victim, a witness told the High Court in Pretoria on Monday afternoon.
There was some confusion in court as Johan Fourie, the second witness following the testimony of a former Dros employee who asked to remain anonymous, was initially introduced as Ninow’s uncle. He clarified that he was simply a witness who met Ninow for the first time on the day the incident took place.
According to Fourie, Ninow introduced himself as a millionaire whose father had passed away. He also bought tequilas for those present and allegedly also offered the manager of the restaurant drugs.
He then left for the toilet, shortly after which Fourie heard a commotion.
He then went to the bathroom, where he found Ninow naked and covered in blood, at which point he called the police, according to his testimony.
According to Fourie, he could see Ninow was on drugs.
Ninow’s lawyers have also stated that Ninow was on drugs at the time of the incident. It is alleged that the accused tested positive for the drug Cat and the charge sheet was changed to reflect this. His lawyers have also brought up what they claim is Ninow’s history of depression prior to the beginning of the trial.
Earlier, Ninow’s lawyer read out a statement in which Ninow admitted to having put his penis in the child’s mouth and having penetrated her with his fingers.
The accused was arrested at the restaurant in September 2018, after he allegedly followed the seven-year-old child to a bathroom and raped her. A video, taken moments after the alleged incident, showed a man covered in blood, and angry patrons berating him.
Since his arrest, the accused has not applied for bail.
In February this year, Ninow was found fit to stand trial after spending a month in Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital undergoing extensive evaluation.
He was evaluated by a team of four experts, including psychiatrists and a clinical psychologist, in line with a 2018 court order. The evaluation assessed the mental capacity of the accused and determined whether he could be held accountable.
Ninow was sent for observation after his lawyer told the court that there was a need to explore the mental state of his client at the time of the incident.
He said Ninow had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2013 and had been using drugs since he was 14 years old. It was put on record that the accused had previously undergone rehabilitation for substance abuse.
“He also tried to commit suicide because of the severe depression of having bipolar,” the lawyer said at the time.
(Edited by Daniel Friedman)