Assailants get 15 years for ‘callous’ stabbing

2010-09-17 00:00

HIGH court judges of appeal described as “calculated, brutal and callous” an attack on a South Coast resident.

Neil Barnard (51), survived being stabbed eight times in his back during an attempted housebreaking at Hibberdene on March 27, 2007.

After he collapsed at a neighbour’s home the assailants returned and made off with Barnard’s Nissan bakkie.

Judge Graham Lopes with Acting Judge Yvonne Gcaba found the two men who were convicted — Sandile Bhengu (20) and Nhlakanipho Ndawalane (18) — ought to be found guilty of attempted housebreaking (instead of housebreaking) with intent to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances, as well as attempted murder of Barnard and imposed a sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment on each of the convicts.

In evidence at the trial in the Port Shepstone regional court, Barnard described his fear when he was woken by the “banging” of his front sliding doors, which he thought at first was shots.

Armed with a fishing gaff, he confronted a man outside the cottage, and while “fighting” him he felt somebody stabbing him in his back. “There was quite a struggle. At one time two guys were holding on to my gaff trying to pull it away from me.”

The men fled and he managed to climb over the fence to his neighbour’s house and woke her.

He suffered eight stab wounds in his back and his lung was punctured twice.

When he returned home after a week he found his bakkie missing. The keys had been in his cottage.

State witness Raymond Ngcongo confirmed that he bought Barnard’s bakkie from the two accused “between 4 am and 5 am” for R15 000. He knew it was stolen.

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