x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Dh1m no closure of case for Kerry's mum

Kerry Winter's body has not been found in the four years since Mark Arnold, her former boyfriend, was said to have killed her with a baseball bat.

Kerry, who was 36, was last seen outside her Al Barsha villa by two of her neighbours.
Kerry, who was 36, was last seen outside her Al Barsha villa by two of her neighbours.

DUBAI // The mother of Kerry Winter says the case of the South African's murder is far from closed, despite the family being awarded Dh1 million compensation by a civil court.

"The money doesn't mean anything," Carol Winter said from Durban. "It does not tell us where she is or what he has done with her."

Kerry's body has not been found in the four years since Mark Arnold, her former boyfriend, was said to have killed her with a baseball bat.

Mrs Winter said the family still felt a sense of loss.

"I still hope that she is still out there," she said. "There is nothing leading to her that was found but I still have hope."

The compensation ruling, which reached Mrs Winter on Sunday, was delivered by the Dubai Civil Court of Appeal on April 2.

The court ordered Arnold to pay Dh500,000 to Kerry's mother and Dh500,000 to her brothers, Clint and Kurt Winter.

A lower court's decision to grant the family Dh300,000 was overturned.

Hussein Al Jaziri, the family's lawyer, filed the civil suit against Arnold seeking Dh5m for financial, emotional, psychological and moral damages.

Mr Al Jaziri stressed to the appeals court the emotional pain suffered by the family and said Mrs Winter and Kerry's brothers were not even able to give her a decent burial.

"Now that this verdict is delivered does that mean that the case is over?" Mrs Winter said, crying.

She said she had tried unsuccessfully to collect Kerry's belongings from the house where she was attacked.

"I would like to collect her items but I cannot travel to the UAE and I have nobody to help me there," she said. Mrs Winter has been unable to get a visa.

The family now must wait for the legal procedures to be enforced.

"We have recently filed a motion to the court to effect the payment immediately," Mr Al Jaziri said. "However, if they dispute it or appeal the decision to the Cassation Court we would have to wait for the ruling to be finalised."

He said that if Arnold did not pay when the court issued its final order, his assets would be seized and sold.

Mr Al Jaziri has approached the civil rulings execution section to enforce the judgment against Arnold, who has denied the charges throughout.

Arnold was first convicted by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance on June 7, 2010.

Prosecutors said he stuffed Kerry's body into a burlap sack, added weights and dumped it overboard from his boat a day after her disappearance on August 20, 2008. Kerry, who was 36, was last seen outside her Al Barsha villa by two of her neighbours.

They told prosecutors Arnold beat her with a baseball bat, dragged her into her 4x4 and drove away.

A murder weapon was never recovered but police found traces of Kerry's blood in the 4x4.

amustafa@thenational.ae