Ballan faked photo, claims Cunningham

Hendrick Mphande

THERE were shocking allegations of drug abuse and bloody pictures of a manipulated situation in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court yesterday as assault accused Brent Cunningham applied for bail on new facts.

Cunningham, 21, is accused of beating up his ex-girlfriend, Shireen Ballan, on December 27 last year.

Pictures of her cut, bloodied face were circulated on social networking site Facebook, sparking fury and sympathy for the 36-year-old victim.

But Cunningham’s lawyer, Danie Gouws, claims Ballan made the situation look worse than it was for the pictures.

“According to the doctor’s certificate, it seems to be a very small cut in the face and from that small cut blood was smeared all over her face without injuries and the photo posted for the media to have a field day,” Gouws read from the affidavit.

Cunningham claimed Ballan had ulterior motives for trying to have the charges withdrawn in January.

“The reason for wanting to withdraw the charge was not because she was drunk when the alleged incident happened [as she had claimed], but rather she was afraid I would reveal to this court who the real Ballan and her friends are,” Gouws read.

“She was very concerned about not telling anyone of her cocaine habit.

The bail hearing continues tomorrow.

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