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    Sharks welcome murder case ruling

    2015-06-30 13:53

    Durban - The Sharks have welcomed the judgment delivered on Monday in the Brett Williams murder case, which tragically occurred on the outer-fields at Kings Park in 2013.

    Williams was kicked to death after a match between the Sharks and the Melbourne Rebels. Williams, a former Royal Marine, had been working on a ship docked in Durban at the time of his death.

    Blayne Shepard, his brother Kyle and their friends Andries van der Merwe and Dustin van Wyk were all initially charged with the murder.

    Kyle Shepard, Van der Merwe and Van Wyk were acquitted last year of murder and other crimes in connection with the events of that night. All had pleaded not guilty.

    Charges against Blayne Shepard’s former friend Grant Cramer were withdrawn and he gave evidence for the State.

    Blayne Shepard was acquitted of crimen injuria, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and public violence, but Durban Regional Court magistrate Trevor Levitt found him guilty of culpable homicide.

    Argument on sentencing has been set for the end of August.

    “We thrive on creating a family environment at the stadium where all ages can enjoy a wonderful match-day experience in a safe and secure environment. We have a zero tolerance policy with regard to untoward behaviour at the stadium and we don’t condone this in the strictest terms,” the union said via a statement on Tuesday.

    “In the last year, we have focussed extensively from moving away from a club culture within the stadium to a more family orientated focus with the implementation of an outer-field market, a supervised kids dugout area, the Mangwanani Spa offering on match-day as well as many other exciting initiatives, which is aimed at providing world-class entertainment for our patrons.”

    As result of the tragedy which occurred, stricter measures were implemented by the Sharks to prevent such situations from occurring in future.

    These include:

    - Increased security presence at all home matches;

    - The implementation of a security hotline (031 3088472), which is extensively advertised on match-day, to report any untoward behaviour or incidents, which will be dealt with immediately by a trained reaction team;

    - The stadium officially shuts down two hours after the main match;

    - The implementation of stricter controls and measures with regard to the sale of alcohol at the stadium.

    “Our vision is powered by the ethos of family and we dedicated to ensuring that we continually look for ways to increase our offering which is in line with our slogan ‘It’s More than a Game’” the Sharks concluded.

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