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Friend to Panayiotou's mistress lays bare businessman's infidelity

Friend to Panayiotou's mistress lays bare businessman's infidelity

In seeking to paint a marriage on the rocks, the State on Thursday called to the stand Clarishka Kapp, a friend of Christopher Panayiotou's alleged mistress, Chanelle Coutts. Coutts was employed as a Manageress at Panayiotou’s OK Grocer in Algoa Park, when the affair happened.

Kapp testified that she didn't know when the Panayiotou's bought the OK Grocer, but Coutts had already been working there.

She said that their relationship was professional at first, but then they had later became very close friends.

Kapp further told the court that Coutts was not upset when Panayiotou announced his engagement with Jayde, but was "visibly upset" at their wedding.

Stander questioned whether Panayiotou had spoken with her that day; "He told me he didn't know if he was making the right decision because he was scared he would lose Chanelle," said Kapp.

Even after the wedding, Panayiotou then continued to buy Coutts more expensive gifts, some to the value of R2 000. Kapp said that Panayiotou would sometimes come to her for advice on what to buy Coutts and that sometimes, Kapp would have to buy the presents on his behalf.

Kapp was asked if she and Coutts had ever been to the accused house before, to which she stated that they had been there on three occasions.

"Chanelle and I went there for drinks once," she described, adding that Jayde was said to be at her mother’s house during the time.

Kapp said that during the one visit she had bought them takeaways to eat at the house, and on another occasion Panayiotou had made a braai.

She stated that Coutts had slept over at the Panayiotou's house when Jayde was not there. Coutts would tell her mom that she was sleeping at Kapp's house.

Murmurs in the public gallery from the Inggs family could be heard after this statement.

Kapp said that she was aware of trips to hotels that Panayiotou and Coutts made - some in the Summerstrand area.

Stander questioned how the lovers communicated and if they were on Facebook, at which Kapp stated that they communicated via Chat-On. She said that Panayiotou would get jealous if Coutts spoke to other people on Facebook.

Kapp stated that she and Coutts sometimes visited Panayiotou at the Infinity Bar that he managed. Jayde was never there.

Stander then asked Kapp if she and Coutts attended the wedding of her sister, Cindy Coutts - she replied that they did and that Coutts had taken Panayiotou with as her date.

The State prosecutor pulled up Kapp's cell records and noted countless calls between Coutts, Kapp and Panayiotou and the landline at OK. Stander wanted to know why there were so many frequent calls between Kapp and Panayiotou.

Kapp stated that Panayiotou would often call her after he and Coutts had a fight or misunderstanding.

“Chris phoned me many times when he and Chanelle had arguments or misunderstandings. I would just listen. Not much I could do,” she described.

Stander then asked if Kapp was aware of the house he had purchased in Lovemore Heights and how Coutts felt about it.

She replied that Couts had informed her of the house and that she was very depressed about it.

Stander questioned whether she had any inappropriate photos of the two lovers, Kapp stated that Coutts had sent her photos of the two of them in bed together.

Stander went back to 26 April 2015, five days after Jayde's disappearance, and asked Kapp what happened that day.

Kapp said that she visited Coutts at OK and said that Coutts was "freaked out because she had been questioned by the police".

Defence lawyer, Terry Price, objected stating that the statement was hearsay evidence.

Stander asked what Kapp did next.

"I went home and deleted all of Chanelle and Chris' photos," she said.

Trial set to continue.