Ricochet News

Revelations by Panayiotou mistress and state witness cast doubts

Jun 30, 2015
Revelations by Panayiotou mistress and state witness cast doubts

The State's case against Port Elizabeth businessman, Christopher Panayiotou, who stands accused of masterminding the faked abduction and subsequent murder of his wife, Jayde, might be in jeopardy after revelations by Panayiotou's alleged mistress, Chanelle Coutts, that he could not have been involved in the murder.

“I don’t know what will happen with the court case but the Christopher I know is not a murderer,” Coutts, told , told The Herald.

Apparently, Panayiotou and Coutts had been lovers since 2011 – a year before Panayiotou married Jayde. Coutts is a Manager at one of Panayiotou's businesses.

In an interview with YOU magazine, she also professed that Panayiotou is a decent man and worth waiting for.

The irony

Early in June, during Panayiotou’s failed bid for bail, the NPA confirmed in court that Coutts had turned state witness and that she will testify against him when the murder trial starts.

She is expected to shed light on "direct motive" for Jayde Panayiotou's kidnapping and killing.

Part of the reason why Panayiotou was denied bail was that Magistrate Abigail Beeton felt that he would pose a threat to Coutts as they worked together.

The revelations come when Panayiotou and Coutts are believed to have not spoken to each other since his arrest in Port Elizabeth in April. She said her lawyer had advised against talking to Panayiotou as she might be called on as a witness, but said she constantly worried about Panayiotou at St Albans prison.

Asked why she continued to see Panayiotou after his marriage to Jayde, she said she could not explain what she felt and implied she was happy to be "the other woman". She also never asked him to leave Jayde or expected him to.

The big questions around this could be: Will the State still maintain her as a key witness in the case following her revelations... if they do, what are the chances of her helping prosecutors secure a conviction in the case?