Appeal: Dundee man loses bid against 30-year sentence

2010-02-19 00:00

FORMER Dundee timber harvester Pieter van Heerden Henning (44), sentenced in 1999 to an effective 30 years for murder while already serving 23 years for another murder, yesterday had his appeal against the 30-year term dismissed by three judges in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

He was tried by Judge Jan Hugo, and his appeal was heard by judges Vivienne Niles-Duner, Nic van der Reyden and Acting Judge Graham Lopes.

Hugo jailed him for 30 years for the murder of his employee Ernest Mabaso and 15 years for the attempted murder of Sipho Mkhise in June 1996. He ordered those two sentences to run concurrently, but in addition to the 23-year term.

Hugo accepted the evidence that Henning had a psychological defect that made it dangerous to let him loose upon the public.

Hugo said: “There is a possibility that he will recover, but this court is not prepared to take that risk. I was asked not to increase his period in jail, but I am not prepared to do so.”

Niles-Duner said Hugo’s remarks showed that although he intended to impose a severe sentence to protect the community, it did not seem that he deliberately set out to ensure that the sentence, together with the earlier sentence, would keep Henning behind bars without any reasonable prospect of parole.

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