update


UPDATE: Elderly woman assaulted in heated parking bay dispute

Lorna Murdoch-Eaton was beaten up by a man in an alleged road rage incident.

Lorna Murdoch-Eaton, a 60-year-old woman, has been the latest victim of an alleged road rage incident which quickly turned violent, on Friday, November 4.

Ms Murdoch-Eaton was on her way to a bank in Scott Street, when she and another driver became embroiled in a dispute about a parking space.

“I was just about to park my bakkie, when out of nowhere a white vehicle quickly occupied the parking space. I stopped my bakkie, got out and confronted the man. I mean, it is not easy finding a a parking space in the CBD, so I felt it was unfair of the man to just take the spot, although he could see I was trying to park there,” she explained.

ALSO READ: Road rage leads to shooting

While confronting the man, he got out of his vehicle and smashed her in the face with a tin can, before beating her up with his fists, she claimed.

“All I remember is he just kept on punching me. He would not stop punching me. I then fell to the ground, and as I tried to pick myself up, he started punching me again, and nobody was helping me. People were just standing there watching this man beat me up,” said the emotional victim.

Allegedly, the assailant ran to a nearby bank, while instigating bystanders to continue what he had started. She said more and more bystanders gathered, chanting and praising the man for what he had done.

“I couldn’t believe it! All these people were on his side. They felt what he had done was right. When did it become okay to beat up an old woman?”

Ms Murdoch-Eaton recalled the man tried to drive off, but some people blocked off the road with their vehicles, leaving the man stranded. Realising he was cornered, he allegedly fled to the bank and hid away from the police, who in the meantime were summoned to the scene.

Newcastle 911 member, Imran Gafoor said the attacker had allegedly stirred up the emotions of the bystanders to such an extent that they prevented the police from arresting the man.

“All these people started what looked like a riot, and blocked the police from entering the bank. They claimed the arrest was a racial issue rather than a crime,” claimed Mr Gafoor.

Paramedics arrived at the scene and treated Ms Murdoch-Eaton for her injuries before transporting her to hospital for further medical care.

UPDATE: Road rage murder suspect has his day in court

Allegedly, police could only remove the suspect from the building and escorted him to the police station, after lengthy negotiations with the irate crowd.

However, he was not arrested and police let him go.

While she was in hospital, having her face stitched up, Ms Murdoch-Eaton was informed the suspect had not been arrested.

“I was in total shock. I couldn’t believe what I had heard. I was also informed that I had to go to the police station to report what had happened.”

After her release from hospital, Ms Murdoch-Eaton was accompanied by Mr Gafoor to the police station and opened a case against the suspect.

To her surprise, the incident was allegedly not even noted, nor were any details taken regarding the suspect while he was at the police station earlier that day.

The Newcastle Advertiser contacted the SAPS Corporate Communications Department, and was advised that a case of assault with the intent of causing grievous bodily harm was opened.

Newcastle SAPS Corporate Communications Liaison Officer, Lizzy Arumugam said it was unknown whether it was illegal to beat up women, and that the Newcastle Magistrate’s Court would determine whether or not the suspect would be arrested.

Ms Murdoch-Eaton thanked Mr Gafoor and the entire Newcastle 911 team for their assistance on that fateful day.

“I really need to thank them, and especially Mr Gafoor, as he was with me every step of the way. He truly went above and beyond to support me, and to show there are people out there willing to help, no matter what,” she concluded.


Police investigations continue.

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