Weekend Post (South Africa)

Cunningham accused of theft from mom

- Kathryn Kimberley kimberleyk@timesmedia.co.za

NOTORIOUS Port Elizabeth bad boy Brent Cunningham is back in court, and this time he is accused of stealing from his mother.

Cunningham, 25, who has had more than his fair share of run-ins with the law and still has a suspended prison sentence hanging over his head, was arrested on Wednesday, after he allegedly stole his mother’s car and laptop from their Nancy Road, Lorraine, family home.

His mother, Sonja, called the police during the early hours of February 28, after her house alarm woke her up and she discovered that her laptop and Opel Corsa were missing.

The front sliding door was reportedly left wide open.

The bulky Cunningham first grabbed headlines as a teenager when he stabbed a friend to death following an altercatio­n over a motorcycle.

In the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court yesterday, he looked disappoint­ed when he was told he would have to spend the weekend behind bars.

Because of his previous conviction­s for assault – two on his father and one on a former girlfriend – prosecutor Tim van Rooyen said the state was opposed to him being released on bail.

The matter was postponed to Tuesday next week for a date for a formal bail applicatio­n to be arranged.

Attorney Danie Gouws, who represente­d Cunningham in his previous criminal matters, said he still needed to consult with his client.

Cunningham spent two nights in the Walmer police station holding cells before he was brought to court yesterday.

None of his family members were present in court.

This is the third time the former personal trainer has been arrested at the behest of a parent.

Cunningham was acquitted of murdering fellow Brandwag High School pupil Juan Matthews in 2009, after it was found that he had acted in self-defence.

Two years later, he found himself back behind bars, this time for assaulting his father, Malcolm, a principal at Bluewater Bay Primary School, after the two had had a fight over money. Cunningham received

a suspended sentence for the assault.

In 2014, he spent another four months in custody before he was acquitted of assaulting his girlfriend at the time, Shireen Ballan, and her friends, Albert Erasmus and Chantal Burger. The court found that his version, that he had acted in self-defence, was reasonably, possibly true.

But Cunningham was back behind bars once again for assaulting his father, and new girlfriend, Sharon Roberts, in January 2015.

After reaching a plea agreement, Cunningham was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for three years, and two years’ house arrest, which included16 hours of community service each month, and an order to undergo psychologi­cal treatment and complete life skills and anger management courses.

If he is convicted on the current matter, the state could argue that the suspended sentence should be implemente­d.


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