Dewani 'terrified of car travel'

Shrien Dewani faces extradition to South Africa

Shrien Dewani faces extradition to South Africa

First published in National News © by

A businessman wanted in South Africa over the honeymoon murder of his wife in a taxi is now terrified of travelling by car, his lawyer has told a court.

Shrien Dewani 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 the charges.

Dewani's 28-year-old wife Anni, who was from Sweden, was shot when a taxi the couple were travelling in was hijacked in the Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010.

His lawyer, Clare Montgomery, told Westminster Magistrates' Court that the symptoms he is suffering have worsened, rendering him a "husk of a man".

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The court heard that Dewani has a "withdrawn" attitude and spends his time in a disused camper van outside Fromeside Clinic in Bristol playing computer games. He has flashbacks and remembers the breath of a man holding a gun to his head, the court was told.

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.

Giving evidence, his psychiatrist, Dr Paul Cantrell, admitted that Dewani had "adapted poorly" to treatment and is suffering from severe PTSD and moderate depression.

District Judge Howard Riddle agreed to allow him to switch from Fromeside to Blaise View mental health hospital in Bristol, which was described as a more "open, relaxed and calm environment".

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.

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