Man who ‘assaulted’ ex-girlfriend in video also ‘threatened’ her ex-husband, court hears

The man accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend in a video that went viral, also threatened the woman’s ex-husband, the court was told on Wednesday.

The Randburg magistrate’s court heard how Andrew Turnbull – also accused of drug and ammunition possession in a separate case – threatened the ex-husband in an expletive-laden phone call that was recorded.

“Are you prepared to take what’s coming your way … Are you f****g prepared,” Turnbull told the man.

He is applying for bail in Johannesburg ahead of his trial on the charge of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Chere Gray. The assault was caught in a video (screenshot below) that shows her in a choke-hold before being tossed aside by Turnbull.

On Wednesday the state played to the court the video – which has attracted more than 114,000 views on Facebook – as well as several recorded telephone conversations between Turnbull and Gray’s ex-husband.

“I believe you are good mates with [a notorious former gang leader]. Can me and him come and talk to you,” Turnbull is heard saying to him.

The man responds by telling Turnbull that he does not know the former gang leader.

Turnbull is also heard telling the man that they will “sort this” issue out legally and physically. Soon after this he is heard saying: “Are you prepared to take what’s coming your way … Are you f**** prepared”.

In his bail application, Turnbull told the court that his passport had expired.

The state, however, discovered that he still holds a valid passport. The court was also told on Wednesday that he lied about being employed. An affidavit from his alleged employer, read out in court, confirms that the man had never hired Turnbull. Turnbull would work in the family business as a salesman if the court releases him on bail.

This was according to his father Michael Roy Turnbull, whose affidavit was read out.“I would like to state that he [Turnbull] will be working for me in our family business in Port Alfred as a salesman,” the affidavit said.

In a photo taken of Turnbull on his way back to the court’s holding cells, the 41-year-old, his hair in Mohican style, is caught crouching on his haunches behind the plastic bags containing his possessions. He looks agitated, and thinner than the photos that had previously populated his now deleted Facebook page.

Andrew Turnbull on the way to the holding cells at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg on October 3 2018.
Andrew Turnbull on the way to the holding cells at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg on October 3 2018. 
Image: Nomahlubi Jordaan

The bail hearing is set to continue with arguments on Friday.

Turnbull was first arrested on August 21. He was charged with possession of drugs and ammunition, despite having been declared unfit to possess a firearm.

He made a successful bail application in this case and was released on R5,000 bail with his next court date in the matter set for October 30.

A miscommunication between the NPA and SAPS resulted in the Gauteng prosecutor being unaware on the day that there was a warrant of arrest for Turnbull in East London at the same time.

He had been wanted by the Beacon Bay police since June 27, for allegedly pointing a firearm at an East London resident, Anthony Traub. On September 5 Turnbull handed himself over at the Beacon Bay police station.

However, the police declined to execute the warrant, with East London police spokesperson Hazel Mqala saying they were instructed not to do so as Turnbull did not have a firearm “in his name”, only a gas pistol. Another warrant of arrest against him on a fraud-related matter was cancelled at the Sandton police station after he settled the issue out of court.

– Additional reporting by Tyler Riddin

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