JOHANNESBURG – Former stripper Maruschka Robinson and alleged drug trafficker JP Malan are “a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde who did drugs, death with impunity.”
This was the assertion of advocate Zaais van Zyl arguing in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge on Monday.
Van Zyl for the State argued both Robinson (25) and Malan (34) were responsible for Dustan Blom’s death in 2013.
Previously, security manager for Montecasino Clinton Wayne Vigne submitted surveillance footage to the court. In the clips, Robinson and Malan can be seen drawing thousand of rands from an ATM with Blom's bank card. The pair kissed, hugged, ordered drinks at a bar, high-fived and gambled at Montecasino just hours after Blom is thought to have been killed.
Van Zyl disputed Robinson’s version of events in which she stated Malan had killed Blom without her knowledge or consent.
"Accused number one is not this innocent unfortunate druggie that she pretends to be."
"She was in all of this right through," said Van Zyl.
According to the State’s version, murdered IT specialist Blom was planning to reform after a life of heavy drinking, strip clubs and visits to the casino at the time he was murdered.
"Dustan Blom had understood he needed to do something about his life. He had not run his life as he used to."
Blom’s friend Ryan Pickford previously testified that Blom was a "broken man" following the death of his second wife during childbirth in March 2013.
He received a sizeable life insurance policy after his second wife’s death, and then began his downward spiral of heavy drinking, visiting strip clubs and hiring escorts.
A dancer and escort who worked at Lollypop Lounge with Robinson testified in the days leading up to the killing.
Later on Monday morning, Jesse Penton argued for mitigation of sentence for his client Robinson, whom he said was "not a murderess."
He disputed Malan's version of events the night Blom died. Malan asserts Blom died from an overdose of a drug typically used by rapists on their intended victims. However, evidence submitted by a State doctor testified that Blom died of asphyxiation caused by strangulation.
Penton sumbitted Robinson did not know Blom was dead when Malan left the crime scene to draw money from the deceased's bank account.
"Clearly, there can be no other inference drawn from the fact, at that stage after, even if she knew of the sleeper hold, accused number one was under the impression the deceased was alive."
Penton said, "What I am saying is clearly she did not foresee it."
Robinson testified she cleaned up the bloody scene where Blom's body lay before it was bundled into the boot of his car and driven to Montecasino.
The trial resumed on Monday afternoon with Malan's laywer, JP Marais, taking the stand.
Marais began his heads of argument disputing Van Zyl's assertion that Blom was aware both co-accused were stealing money from him.
Marais said, "These two accused had a good thing going. They drew money from the deceased whenever they liked."
He said there was "not a scrap of evidence" to support the State's assertion that Blom was "wisening up" to the co-accused's thieving.
The trial continues.