Durban businessman Omesh Ramnarain convicted on charges of culpable homicide and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for the 2016 deaths of cyclists Richard da Silva and Jarred Dwyer – has launched a bid for bail while he appeals his sentence.
His review application was heard in the Durban High court on Monday‚ with Ramnarain having spent just shy of a month behind bars.
Da Silva and Dwyer had been on a pre-dawn training ride on the M4 Ruth First Freeway in February 2016 when Ramnarain struck them with his car as he returned home from a nightclub.
In May this year‚ Magistrate Anand Maharaj sentenced Ramnarain to five years in jail for each count of culpable homicide. The two terms would run consecutively.
His driver’s license was also suspended for a year.
An application for leave to appeal was granted‚ but bail pending the outcome of the court action was refused.
The basis for his application‚ argued by Advocate Murray Pitman‚ was that Maharaj’s denial of bail was merely an attempt to punish his client.
Pitman asserted that the magistrate himself had thought that there was reasonable prospects of a successful appeal of the conviction and sentence by granting Ramnarain leave to approach another court.
“It is not in the interests of justice that he serve his sentence until the appeal is finalised which could take as long as two years… then the effect of any possible acquittal will have been obliterated‚” he said.
The state had disagreed‚ arguing that the sentence was appropriate given that two people had been killed.
Durban high court Judge Mokgere Masipa will deliver her ruling on Monday next week.