The Western Cape High Court on Wednesday sentenced a teenager to an effective 13 years in jail for helping to strangle his girlfriend’s mother to death.
Judge President John Hlophe told a crying Kyle Maspero, 19, that he hoped the sentence would send the message that violent, senseless crimes would not be tolerated.
At the same time, he hoped Maspero would emerge from prison a rehabilitated man who could contribute meaningfully to society.
Hlophe handed down a sentence of 18 years imprisonment, of which five were suspended for five years on condition he not be found guilty of a similar offence.
Maspero was a minor at the time that he helped kill Rosemary Theron.
He recently pleaded guilty to killing Theron, 39, in her Clovelly home on March 7, 2013.
Her daughter, Maspero’s ex-girlfriend, Phoenix Racing Cloud Theron, is already serving an effective 15 years in jail in terms of a plea agreement.
As part of his guilty plea last month, Maspero described how he and Phoenix counted down four minutes as he held a rope tightly around Theron’s throat.
He said he recoiled when she emitted a “huge sigh”, but Phoenix reassured him that the sound was merely “trapped air”.
Maspero admitted that he had known the difference between right and wrong at the time, despite his copious consumption of dagga and methamphetamines (tik).