Alleged killer to plead guilty

Alleged serial killer Kershwin Goldstone, who is charged with preying on frail defenceless old people, has not only come clean in a confession but wants to plead guilty.

Goldstone (22) on Friday made a fleeting appearance in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

He cut a pathetic figure in the dock, with a clean white bandage wrapped around his head.

The alleged cold-blooded killer appeared to be fatigued with dark circles under his eyes.

Prosecutor Patty David told magistrate Vincent Ncanyana that Goldstone is charged with three counts of murder and three of housebreaking with intent to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Patricia O’Connor, Roland Heathcote and Patricia Tugwell, aged between 88 and 92, were attacked and killed at the Kenwyn Retirement Home and the Jacaranda Lodge retirement complex in separate incidents last month.

David told the court that the state will prove he is linked to the crimes by his fingerprints and DNA.

“He wishes to plead guilty … the investigating officer will liaise with the DPP’s office regarding the plea,” said David.

She also placed it on record that Goldstone had abandoned his bail application. David said he was to be detained at the Loop Street police station cells.

Goldstone was remanded in custody until August 20.

The body of O’Connor — the first elderly murder victim — was discovered by a cleaner at Kenwyn Retirement Home on July 12.

Police said an intruder had apparently climbed over a high wall which adjoins a vacant plot of land, and was believed to have gained access to O’Connor’s room through a window.

Sources said O’Connor’s body was found with “strangulation marks” on her neck.

The second victim, Heathcote, who did not have the use of his legs, was found dead from a single stab wound to the right side of the head in his third-floor room at the Jacaranda Lodge retirement complex in Pietermaritz Street on July 21.

Police said the murderer apparently climbed up the side of the building at about 1 am onto the roof and entered through an unlocked window into the victim’s flat on the third floor. A pair of small scissors, believed to be the murder weapon, were found at the scene.

In the most recent incident, Tugwell was found murdered with her throat slit, in her second-floor apartment at Jacaranda Lodge on the morning of July 31.

During the attacks, Goldstone is alleged to have ransacked the flats, making off with the victims’ belongings.

Tugwell’s family said she had been living in fear, locking herself in her bedroom from 7 pm every night following the first two murders.

Goldstone was arrested on Wednesday morning after he was spotted by a neighbour at Kenwyn while allegedly intent on further invasions.