Published: Sat, June 09, 2018

Killer son jailed for axe attack on family

Killer son jailed for axe attack on family

"There appear to be none", said Desai.

Sentencing Van Breda in the Western Cape High Court today, Judge Desai noted Van Breda had failed to give any explanation for his actions, or "displayed any remorse".

The family had recently returned to South Africa after living in Australia.

Following his sentencing on Thursday in the High Court, his lawyer said he will appeal the conviction and punishment.

Cornelius de Swart‚ who watched proceedings from the public gallery‚ said he was "not surprised at the harsh sentences" and felt Van Breda "deserved what he got" because "his family really loved him and didn't expect that to happen".

Van Breda has been sentenced to three life sentences for the murder of three of his family members, 15 years for attempted murder of his sister, and one year for obstructing the course of justice.

In a case that horrified South Africa and the world, Henri van Breda took an axe to his father, Martin van Breda, 54, his mother Teresa van Breda, 55 and his brother Rudi van Breda, 22.

Henri van Breda was charged with murdering his parents Martin and Teresa, and his older brother Rudi, and attempting to murder his sister Marli, who was 16 at the time, at their Stellenbosch home on January 27, 2015.

That story was entirely rejected by Judge Siraj Desai, who found van Breda guilty of three counts of premeditated murder, attempted murder of his sister, and attempting to defeat justice by tampering with the crime scene. "I'm searching for some human factor that to some degree diminishes the sheer seriousness of these crimes".

His claim had echoes of the defence used by Oscar Pistorius, who said he thought a burglar was hiding in an ensuite bathroom to explain why he fired four times through the door, killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Van Breda, wearing a light grey suit, did not show any emotion as the sentences were handed down. "I'm appealing to (him) - put before me some reason for these attacks".

On June 27‚ Van Breda's advocate Piet Botha will hear whether his client has leave to appeal against his convictions and sentences. Van Breda is accused of murdering three members of his family with an axe.

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