Family slams fake killing claim

THE family of a missing South African woman "killed" by her British ex-lover in Dubai has slammed as "fictitious" defence claims that she faked her death to frame her former partner.

"Fictitious information and baseless allegations," said the family of Kerry Winter in a statement released yesterday by its lawyer Hussain al-Jaziri, in response to charges made by the defence team of Mark Arnold in court on Monday.

Winter, 36, had disappeared in August 2008 following a quarrel with Arnold, 42. The prosecution charged him with clubbing her to death with a baseball bat and dumping her body in the sea. Her corpse has never been found.

Arnold's defence has told the court that Winter had "faked her death to punish him" for ending their relationship, dismissing the alleged act as "just a woman's revenge".

His lawyer also said a police officer spoke to Winter on her cellphone three hours after an argument between the two and claimed she said she was fine.

Earlier reports said Arnold had argued with Winter and hit her on the head with a wooden stick until she bled and fell to the ground.

He has been in custody since August 2008 and had received a one-month jail sentence over endangering the life of a Lebanese housemate of Winter by swinging a baseball bat at him when he was alerted to the argument between the two outside her villa.

A verdict is expected on May 17. - Sapa-AFP