Goddard trial on pause
Judge may recuse herself from child rape case
THE rape and sexual assault trial of Darren Goddard has been put on pause until the state decides on how to proceed.
It emerged yesterday that there is a possibility that the state might apply for the presiding judge, Kate Pillay, to recuse herself from the case.
State advocate Frank van Heerden yesterday placed on record in court that the case was adjourned on Friday for the state to decide whether to apply for the judge’s recusal from the trial.
He told the court that having spoken to his “seniors” it was decided that the way forward will be to first have the “trialwithinatrial” proceedings transcribed to put the state in a position to make an informed decision on whether to bring such an application or not.
The cause appears to have been a dispute that arose during the lunch break last Thursday.
This happened when the judge was not in court.
Although nothing about this has been revealed in open court it is understood the issue, which arose between the state and defence, has to do with a document that has been handed to the judge.
At issue is where the document came from — either police investigating the matter, a former friend of Goddard’s or from somewhere else.
The state and defence are unable to agree.
Van Heerden only told the court yesterday that a transcribed record would assist in determining what Goddard’s “case was and what the position is”.
The former primary school counsellor was testifying in a trialwithinatrial last week to determine if the state is entitled to use certain evidence to help prove the 13 charges of rape and sexual assault against him.
Goddard also faces two other charges, related to child pornography.
The crimes allegedly took place between 2012 to 2016 during Goddard’s employment at the school.
His alleged victims were all boys. So far the state has only led evidence on the child pornography charges.
Sergeant Andries van Tonder of the police cyber crime unit told the court about the report he compiled on the dates and times pornographic material was downloaded and accessed on Goddard’s laptop, USB and two DVDs.
He said it happened over a long period of time and that there were too many images found on Goddard’s laptop and storage devices for their dates to have been tampered with.
After he completed his evidence, the trialwithinatrial commenced. First to testify was a psychologist with whom Goddard had consulted while in prison.
He testified that Goddard gave him information to fax to his legal team on two occasions.
He said that two police officers came to his office, produced a subpoena, and took his file related to Goddard. They were not entitled to take privileged information.
However, Van Heerden has questioned if anything said between him and Goddard were privileged because he was not registered as a counselling psychologist.
Goddard then took the stand and his crossexamination has since been put on hold.
The case has been adjourned to tomorrow for the transcripts to be obtained.