Gay escort ‘let Dewani sleep over’

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Published: Monday 27th October 2014 by The News Editor

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A gay male escort used by Shrien Dewani has said the millionaire businessman was the “first ever client” he allowed to stay at his home.

Leipold Leisser, 43, who said he offered services such as role play, S&M, and fetishes, told the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town, South Africa, that Dewani asked him to “sleep over” after their meetings.

Prosecutor Adrian Mopp explained to the court that Dewani had disclosed to Mr Leisser that he was about to be engaged to his wife Anni, and could not find a way out without being disowned by his family, the South African Press Association reported.

Dewani is accused of Anni’s murder during their honeymoon in Cape Town in November 2010. He has pleaded not guilty to the five counts against him, maintaining that the couple were the victims of a hijacking on November 13, 2010.

Mr Mopp said it was not in dispute that Dewani paid for Mr Leisser’s services on September 18, 2009, February 4, 2010, and 17 April 2010, and that the two had email communication.

Mr Leisser told the court in a brief hearing that he initially had a private profile on gay fetish website Recon and then created a commercial website for himself under the name Gay Master One in 2009.

At the first and second meeting, Dewani went to Leisser’s home and slept over.

“It was unusual and in fact, he was the first ever client I allowed to stay at my home. He asked me to sleep over,” Mr Leisser said.

Pieter Botha, for Dewani, interrupted and asked what the relevance of the evidence was.

Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso also asked what the relevance was, having earlier refused evidence related to Dewani’s sexuality, ruling it was irrelevant.

Mr Mopp said he was trying to show the court the context of Dewani’s relationship with his wife Anni.

Judge Traverso said it was known that Dewani spent nights with Leisser and that he slept with other men.

She said that when it came to evidence “of this nature” she always thought twice before admitting it.

During Mr Leisser’s evidence Dewani stared at him from the dock and lowered his head.

Mr Leisser, the State’s 11th witness to testify on his three meetings with Dewani in 2009 and 2010, wore a charcoal suit and red tie in the witness stand with a German translator next to him.

Judge Traverso said Dewani had previously broken off another engagement and asked Mr Mopp to argue why she should allow the evidence.

Mr Mopp said the court would eventually be confronted with the question of why Dewani would commit such a crime and that this evidence would assist it.

Judge Traverso said both the state and defence should provide her with written arguments on why the evidence should or should not be admitted.

It is alleged that Dewani conspired with others to stage the hijacking in return for 15,000 rand (£850).

Her slumped body was found in the abandoned shuttle taxi in Khayelitsha the following day.

Xolile Mngeni was convicted in 2012 of firing the fatal shot from the front passenger seat of the hijacked vehicle.

He died from a brain tumour on October 18.

Published: Monday 27th October 2014 by The News Editor

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