When Luke Skywalker’s former wife finally escaped after more than 40 hours of alleged captivity and asked nearby police officers for help, she was told to go and lay a charge, she told the Cape Town Regional Court on Wednesday
“I jumped into the front of the car, reversed, drove around the corner and saw about five or seven policemen because it was the 30th of December,” said Patricia “Trish” Hair, as she detailed how she finally escaped after Skywalker went into a Pick n Pay outlet.
“I stopped, I approached them. I said: ‘My husband’s just tried to kill me, and this is what he did to me’.”
Hair earlier testified he had allegedly beaten, threatened to kill her, and cut off chunks of her hair after she went to the house they used to share at his request to say goodbye.
“They said: ‘Madam, you’ve got to go to the police station’.”
Skywalker’s lawyer, Keith Gess, was incredulous.
“They really told you that you must go to the police station and lay a charge?”
“They said: ‘Go to the police station and lay a charge’,” she insisted.
Hair said they did not offer her any medical assistance and it was her parents who later took her to hospital.
‘She is the one who assaulted me’
She, however, gave the police officers a picture of Skywalker who has a distinctive look with long black hair. When one of the officers approached him in the Pick n Pay, he immediately said: “She is the one who assaulted me.”
During her cross-examination by Gess, Hair told the court before that she did not have a chance to escape what she alleged were hours of being beaten and threatened with death after she received what he considered to be an “inappropriate text”.
She had gone to the house in West Beach, Blouberg, on 29 December 2017, at his request to wind up their marriage and to say goodbye before the New Year.
She earlier testified there had been a series of what she considered “lasts” as their marriage ended because she wanted the split to be amicable.
However, things went awry when she received a text message from a friend.
Skywalker has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and kidnapping charges, saying it was actually Hair who attacked him, kicked a hole in the toilet door over a phone fight and threatened to cut his hair.
She testified that to buy time and save herself after the alleged attack and being held captive, she agreed to a reconciliation.
Hair also allowed him to film a video of herself saying she had attacked him, and on his orders and coaching, called the friend who had sent the text to say they would not be able to be friends anymore.
She also agreed they would go away together, and family and his students were called to announce their reconciliation.
After at least 40 hours, she said, he took her with him to buy groceries so that he would not have to tie her up. He had also given her phone back but had stayed close to her at all times so she could not escape or call for help.
Forced to lie on back seat of car
Because she was allegedly beaten up and her hair had been chopped unevenly, he forced her to lie down on the back seat of his car so that nobody could see her.
He also gave her the keys to the house as a “symbol” of their renewed commitment.
“I convinced him that I’m coming back, that I love him, I did it all to save my life,” Hair said.
However, as soon as he was out of sight when he stopped at the Pick n Pay, she jumped into the driver’s seat, started the car and drove off, stopping only when she saw the police officers.
She said an officer who went with her to the Table View police station was “in a hurry” because it was the busy December period.
Skywalker was arrested and is currently out on bail. There was also an apparent attempt by a family member of his to charge her with defamation for what she had accused him of.
After she had been cross-examined, an old platonic friend and business consultant, Johann Swiegelaar, took the stand to testify about the phone messages that had apparently set Skywalker off.
Swiegelaar said at about 14:30 on 30 December, he answered his phone when he saw it was her number.
He added Skywalker was on the other end of the line and the conversation started out “very amicably”, but Skywalker apparently switched tone quickly, demanding to know why he was sending his wife messages that were “inappropriate”.
These contained lines like: “It’s going to be on like Donkey Kong” and “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”.
He said this conversation referred to him breaking his lunch “get together” with Hair because he had come down with a bout of gout, and they were rescheduling for another time.
He said the “Vegas” part of the conversation simply meant they might drink until they fell down.
‘Conversation became very aggressive’
“The conversation then became very aggressive,” said Swiegelaar. “He said he knows where I stay. I said: ‘Oh, good luck to you if you know where I stay. I’ll be waiting outside for you’.”
Gess questioned him on whether he thought it was appropriate to send Hair messages with “kissy faces” and “hearts”. He retorted that he sent everybody messages like that.
“I can show you all my messages to my friends. They all have kissy faces. I don’t think it’s improper … correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Miss Hair getting divorced at that stage?”
He said the following day while with friends, her number showed up again on his phone.
This time she was on the phone and said Skywalker was her “soulmate”, she regretted any inappropriate communication, and they could not be friends anymore.
“I found that incredibly bizarre,” said Swiegelaar, adding he had heard breathing over the phone and that it sounded like a “controlled conversation”.
Hair testified Skywalker had coached her on what to say.
“I said: ‘If that is your wish, good luck’, and I switched the phone off.”
The trial was adjourned to 6 December and Skywalker’s bail was extended.