Pub­lic plea by con­victed rapist’s twin

Pub­lic asked for funds to fight sen­tence

Daily Dispatch - - News - By MALIBONGWE DAYIMANI

ACROWD-FUND­ING ini­tia­tive fo­cused on East London in­hab­i­tants has been launched to raise R500 000 to ap­peal against for­mer Bor­der crick­eter and con­victed rapist Dion Tal­jard’s 18-year jail sen­tence.

The goal was to free him from his English prison, said his twin brother Mark Tal­jard, of East London.

He said that at the time of Tal­jard’s ar­rest, he was work­ing as a waiter in a Bri­tish pub.

Tal­jard, a for­mer Bor­der medium-fast bowler, was sen­tenced by the Min­shull Street Crown Court in Manch­ester after be­ing con­victed on 19 counts of rape on Wed­nes­day.

The vic­tim, Mark said, had been well-known to the fam­ily dur­ing her 20-year re­la­tion­ship with Dion.

Mark said they had re­ceived “great” sup­port from Tal­jard’s friends both in South Africa and Eng­land.

Mark said his brother left East London for Eng­land 17 years ago.

On Wed­nes­day, the court heard that most of the as­saults hap­pened after Tal­jard had played darts in the pub and was drunk.

But Mark yes­ter­day claimed his brother would not harm a fly and ac­cused the vic­tim of “false” ac­cu­sa­tions out of jeal­ousy.

“She was jeal­ous to see him ex­tremely happy.

“I re­ceived a mes­sage from my brother’s girl­friend giv­ing me de­tails of how my brother was to her.

“She said he was not ca­pa­ble of such an of­fence.”

Mark said the fam­ily had ap­plied in writ­ing on Wed­nes­day to

He would not say how much money had been raised so far.

Mark said the tim­ing of the charges laid against his brother were ques­tion­able.

“At no stage dur­ing the 20 years did she re­port any­thing like that and now 20 years down the line she com­plains.”

Ac­cord­ing to tes­ti­mony pre­sented in court, Tal­jard vi­o­lated the vic­tim more than 150 times be­tween 2002 and 2012 be­fore she re­ported him to the po­lice in Fe­bru­ary 2015.

Tal­jard played 25 first­class matches for Bor­der from Oc­to­ber 1993 to 1999.

His ca­reer high­lights in­cluded tak­ing 60 wick­ets at 30.93 runs a wicket, with two five-wicket hauls.

His ca­reer best was 6/49 against Pak­istan at Buf­falo Cricket Sta­dium in Fe­bru­ary 1998, which in­cluded a hat-trick. — mal­i­bong­wed@ dis­patch.co.za ap­peal the sen­tenc­ing.

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