Northmead resident still branded as a criminal

Sean Early has won his battle with police after his property was illegally raided three years ago.

The three-year legal battle between Sean Early and the Minister of Safety and Security is reaching its conclusion, with the resident’s lawyer, Konrad Röntgen Junior, saying police threw in the towel just before the matter was heard in court.

The City Times reported in the newspaper of February 7, 2014, of the raid at Early’s Fourth Avenue home, as police suspected there was illegal activity taking place.

The complainant said the SAPS raided his house after mistaking his address for that of another Northmead property, but one on Fourth Street.

It states in the settlement agreement that Benoni police “acted without the necessary warrant and or did not act within the parameters of the Criminal Procedure Act pertaining to seizure raids and entry”.

The 54-year-old claimed for just over R15 000 for damages police did to his property, which included damage to his main entrance gate, the electric fence and the gates and perimeter walls.

He also asked for R100 000 for damage to his reputation.

The final settlement is now being negotiated.

Early is happy the process is drawing to an end, but said residents on his street still brand him as a criminal.

“Hey, do you have anything for me to buy?” a man in the area regularly asks Early.

Early said the comments are unwelcome.

“I do not want to be known as the local dealer; I’m not involved in drugs,” he said.

The Northmead resident has not completely lost faith in the police.

“They are arrogant and they think they are the law, but that is a generalisation,” he said.

“There are obviously honest and good cops.”

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Kevin van der List

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