Luck was once again on the side of serial offender Brent Cunningham yesterday, when the prosecution withdrew all charges against him.
The about-turn by the state came after Cunningham’s mother, Sonja, indicated that she no longer wanted to proceed with complaints of theft against her son.
After spending eight nights behind bars, a smiling Cunningham, 25, left the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court with his friend, William Smith.
Cunningham was arrested on February 28, after his mother reported him to the police for allegedly stealing her Opel Corsa car and a laptop from their Lorraine home.
It is believed that Cunningham wanted to sell the goods to feed his suspected drug addiction.
Cunningham appeared briefly in court yesterday, where he was told he was once again a free man.
Just last week, the state indicated that it was opposed to him being released on bail due to his previous convictions for assaulting his father, school principal Malcolm, and a former girlfriend, Sharon Roberts.
Reasons for yesterday’s withdrawal were not stated in court.
But his attorney, Danie Gouws, said later that the state had withdrawn the charges after out-ofcourt negotiations between the prosecution and the defence.
“I can confirm that plans are still under way to find a drug rehabilitation centre for my client,” Gouws said.
This is not the first time Cunningham has managed to escape the full wrath of the law.
He was arrested for the murder of Brandwag High School pupil Juan Matthews, 19, in 2009, but acquitted after a court found he had acted in self-defence.
Then, in 2014, he was accused of assaulting ex-girlfriend Shireen Ballan and her friends, Albert Erasmus and Chantal Burger.
A court once again found he had acted in self-defence and acquitted him of the charges.