Accused jailed after killing for cellphone

2010-08-13 00:00

A 22-YEAR-OLD Eastwood resident, Carlos Carries, was jailed effectively for 20 years yesterday for the murder and robbery of Sithembiso Hlela, whom he robbed of R300 and a cellphone in the suburb on July 3.

High court judge Wendy Hughes-Madondo said it seems that the “worst thing one could possess in life is a cellphone”.

“I say so, because in most of the cases that are heard in these courts, people lose their lives merely for a cellphone.”

Hughes-Madondo said Carries was casually employed at the time as a tiler, yet he still committed the offences.

She added that being a youthful offender has been to Carries’s advantage in that it makes him a good candidate for rehabilitation.

She also took into account that he pleaded guilty, but said this does not detract from the seriousness of the offences.

It is also in Carries’s favour that he is a first offender, she added, and that the murder and robbery were not pre-planned, but committed on the spur of the moment.

“The problem is that your actions resulted in a life being taken for a mere R300 and a cellphone. A family has been deprived of their loved one. “The crimes that you have committed are far too prevalent within society and, as submitted by the state, society looks to the courts to address this scourge within our communities,” Hughes-Madondo told Carries.

She sentenced Carries to 10 years’ imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances and to 20 years for murder, and ordered that the sentences run concurrently.

Carries said in a statement to the court that he had decided to rob Hlela because he needed money to pay for his son’s school fees.

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