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Sarah Groves: Constant delays and disruption

Sarah Groves: Constant delays and disruption

Thursday 06 April 2023

Sarah Groves: Constant delays and disruption

Thursday 06 April 2023

The only person ever formally accused of murdering Sarah Groves has faced numerous delays in his trial, with almost a decade spent behind bars and the trial currently suspended due to his poor mental health.

Richard de Wit reportedly admitted killing Miss Groves soon after her death in the early hours of 6 April 2013.

However, since those initial days after her death Mr de Wit has changed his story and has consistently denied killing Miss Groves over the past decade.


Pictured: Richard de Wit has been held in custody in Srinagar since Spring 2013. The current status of his trial is unknown as it was suspended in 2021 due to growing concerns over Mr de Wit's mental health.

He has met both of Miss Groves parents and shaken their hands. He told them to their faces that he did not kill their daughter.

Both Vic and Kate Groves regret taking part in that momentary show of civility prompted by the man accused of killing their youngest child.

"We ended up talking with him," said Mr Groves. "We've talked to him a few times, and he shook our hands, (and said) 'I really did not do this', said Mrs Groves.

"He looked me in the eye twice and said that," continued Mr Groves. "I'd rather not have had that relationship and not met him. It would have been a lot more objective if it had not happened."

the groves and de Witt

Pictured: Vic and Kate Groves have both met Richard de Wit. 

Mr and Mrs Groves seem almost resigned to the fact that the trial of the man accused of killing their daughter may never reach a reliable conclusion either by convicting or clearing him.

The case was suspended in 2021 as Mr de Wit's mental health reached such a poor state that he could no longer reasonably be expected to attend hearings or understand the trial.

"He's not a well man," said Mr Groves. "We don't think he's well physically either," added Mrs Groves.

The suspension of the case came after years of incessant delays and disruption to the case with civil unrest in Kashmir, floods in the area, and then covid all preventing hearings from taking place.

Delays have also been caused by the Judge and prosecution and defence lawyers being replaced without warning, the Judge going on holiday despite having scheduled hearings, witnesses not turning up to court, or disappearing, and evidence being lost. One witness has died during the intervening years.

Mr and Mrs Groves said they grew frustrated when they saw first hand how the trial was conducted.

"It was a farce," said Mr Groves, adding, "it was nothing like a proper trial."

Sarah Groves

Pictured: Sarah Groves was 24 when she was killed in Kashmir on 6 April 2013.

"The most ridiculous of all," said Mrs Groves, "was when we went into the court room and the Judge is sitting there at a long table. Richard de Wit is at one end, and a petty criminal is at the other end, and he was conducting two trials simultaneously. I mean it just made me see red, because we could do nothing."

"There was no security, added Mr Groves, "anyone could walk in and out of the court and do anything."

No one from the Groves family has been to Kashmir since 2015. The couple said it was not worth travelling so far when the hearings were so routinely cancelled or postponed. The risk to their safety was also a factor in their decision to follow the case from home.

"It's never going to come to a conclusion" admitted Mr Groves, who is waiting for any news from Srinagar about whether the trial of the man accused of the murder of his daughter will ever resume. 

LISTEN: The interview with Mr and Mrs Groves can be heard in full below:



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Further delays in Groves trial

Strong letter had "some limited effect" on Sarah Groves trial

Six month freeze finally over: Sarah Groves trial resumes

Groves trial faces further setbacks 

Groves family launch petition as patience wears thin

A shambles: the Sarah Groves' murder trial latest

Yet more delays in Groves murder trial

Groves trial finally getting momentum?

Covid crisis overwhelms Groves trial

Groves trial restarts "much sooner than expected"

Useful meeting over Sarah Groves murder trial

Civil unrest disrupts Groves trial, again

"Unprecedented" steps taken in Groves trial

8th prosecutor appointed to Groves trial

New judge appointed to Groves trial

Some progress made in Sarah Groves murder trial

Policeman continues giving evidence in Groves trial

"Big setback" in Groves murder trial

Groves trial prosecutor is the problem

More civil unrest disrupts Groves trial

Groves trial bogged down by deadly unrest

Groves trial delayed by covid case

Sarah Groves clothes presented as evidence in murder trial

Prayers for Sarah Groves as murder trial stumbles on

Groves trial held-up by continuing covid-19 crisis

Groves family hoping for progress today

Striking lawyers add to Groves trial delays

Three consecutive days listed for Groves trial as family hope for progress

Groves trial delayed by pandemic

Groves trial stumbles again

116th hearing sees witness questioned

Groves trial delayed again as Srinagar reaches 'hell' conditions

Judge doesn't show for Groves trial

Still no news as local figures rally behind Groves

Everything comes together for nothing in Groves trial

Second reshuffle in Groves trial

Senior policeman in Groves case "highly critical" of evidence

Widespread criticism of Groves trial "might be hitting a nerve

127th hearing for Sarah Groves: a blank day in court

Plea issued to multi governments to intervene in Sarah Groves trial

Kashmiri legal system "showing little interest" in Groves case

Covid concerns and civil unrest delay Groves trial

Kashmiri justice system "should be ashamed of themselves"

"Lack of progress is now reaching epidemic proportions"

More delays...

Fighting against the odds for justice

Where was the witness?

Three months without progress...

"We just want it to end"

Second consecutive wasted court day

Anxiously waiting for any news

"All we seek is justice for Sarah"

Covid-19 outbreak inside de Wit's jail

Progress finally made in murder trial

Still no progress in murder trial

14,000+ urge British Government to intervene in Sarah Groves case

178th scheduled hearing...postponed

Defendant gets to court, but still no progress

Richard de Wit could be bailed

"We remain hopeful"

Hoping for help from instagrammers 

Many months of delays now possible

Another year without justice for Sarah

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