Cun­ning­ham ac­cused of theft from mom

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE - Kathryn Kim­ber­ley kim­ber­leyk@times­me­

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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