News24

Blackheath taxi driver to be sentenced

2012-02-20 08:34

Cape Town - The minibus taxi driver who was found guilty of murdering 10 children is expected to hear his jail sentence in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Jacob Humphreys, who had his R20 000 bail reinstated last year, was found guilty of murder and attempted murder.

Humphreys was taking the children to school on August 25, 2010, when he stopped at the Buttskop level crossing in Blackheath, overtook a row of cars, ignored safety signals and proceeded over the tracks.

A train hit the minibus taxi and 10 of the children were killed. Four children were seriously injured.

Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney also found Humphreys, 55, guilty on four charges of attempted murder.

- Are you going to be at court? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Comments
  • qmglover - 2012-02-20 08:40

    I hope justice will take it's cause and give some relieve to the families of the little one's that was lost in this tragic accident...

      RSole - 2012-02-20 10:54

      Let's hope it is a very looooong sentence.

  • procold2 - 2012-02-20 08:42

    let us see what message is going to be sent to all taxi drivers

      Bardy - 2012-02-20 08:57

      None... They don't care.

      Steve - 2012-02-20 09:07

      Do you think they actually know what is happening in the world??

      RobertKeeling - 2012-02-20 13:11

      They will just shrug their shoulders, say :"Sh@t happens" and carry on as normal. They are all potential murderers.

  • Travers - 2012-02-20 09:00

    nobody wins here, the taxi driver is a bad man

  • Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-20 09:06

    hopefuly his human right won't be given to him so that he may be teated as good as possible. as it was clear from all the eyewttnesses from the beggining he deliberately ignored the rules of the road. he further told the court that he was "not guilty". he also put the parents of the children through more pain and suffering by delaying the closure of the case. 1 life sentance per child killed with the possibility of parole only at the sum of the expected natural death age of each child killed, should that child lived. i guess that sounds fair, well to me that is. same sentance should go fo the drunk drivers.

      uwe.klopfer - 2012-02-20 12:54

      excellent idea

  • Gerald - 2012-02-20 09:17

    Isn't it strange that it takes the death of innocent lives, once again, in order for the law to be eventually woken up out of a catatonic stupour and coerced into action against only one of thousands of inconsiderate imbiciles who have a total disregard of the law and of all other people around them.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-20 10:00

      Gerald, do not jump the gun. the law has done nothing yet. sentancing will be the proof

      Gerald - 2012-02-20 10:02

      Demetrius, we live in hope..... ;-)

  • gavinoleary68 - 2012-02-20 09:19

    So he made a very bad error of judgement. He wil be punished, but let's focus on two more immportant issues: 1. What about the poor control of the crossing? What will the people tasked with managing our roads to provide safety for our kids do? 2. The poor parents and families of those who died continue to suffer. My heart goes out to them. Losing a child must be a terrible ordeal. Where are the victims' rights? Where is the support and compensation?

      Karri - 2012-02-20 09:39

      gavinoleary68 - there was no error of judgement - he ignored all warning signs because he is .....i don't really know what word to use...selfish, arrogant, self absorbed, lacking common sense..... the queue of cars already stopped which he overtook and the sirens should have been a clear indication for him to stop. Lock this man away forever - he murdered innocent little children.

      Barry - 2012-02-20 09:55

      Error of judgement is a mistake, this muderer chose to ignore the rules, no error of judgement. He knew what he was doing therefore it is premeditated murder. Train v Taxi only one winner but obviously the driver is to stupid realise. I am surprised he had enough brain cells to walk and chew gum at the same time let alone drive.

      Gerald - 2012-02-20 09:59

      I agree totally with Carri. Also, poor control of the crossing? The LAW of the raod dictates that all vehicles must STOP at a crossing and proceed only when it is safe to do so - IRRESPECTIVE of signs or any other controls. These "things" are a law unto themselves and need to be obliterated. Any support structures needed in the case of negligence should be, by law, supplied by the taxi bosses, owner/s of the taxi and the taxi driver. Just take a drive down Malibongwe - even on a Sunday, a TOTAL off-peak period, to see the blatant disregard of the road traffic law and road markings by these vermin.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-20 10:06

      gavin, are you a taxi driver? sure sound like it. what error of judgement? an error of judgement is when i cross over an intersection and the vehile i see approaching is travelling at 60 and not 20 that i think. overtaking stopped vehicles is murder. what did he think? all these morons have decided to have a picnick on the way to work. or he acctualy the moron? give up your taxi permit and your PrDP. the driving licence as well while you are at it. as far as the support and compensation. it sure may be some relief, but nothing will bring those children back. not all the money in the SA, or even the world. support and compensation from the government now is too little, too late.

  • Leon - 2012-02-20 09:30

    "Humphreys was taking the children to school on August 25 last year when he stopped at the Buttskop level crossing in Blackheath, overtook a row of cars, ignored safety signals and proceeded over the tracks." This is pathetic. A stopped car can't overtake other cars, he never even stopped!

      uwe.klopfer - 2012-02-20 13:04

      1. approach crossing 2. Stop behind last vehicle 3. Pull away from behind last vehicle and pass the queue 4. Ignore booms, lights, bells and oncoming train. 5. Attempt to cross tracks before train is there. 6. Crash. 10 Kids dead. And you worry about semantics in an article ? Why do you need to spoon fed when LOGICALLY the above happened. If you can't figure that out you don't seem much brighter than the taxi driver...

  • Henning - 2012-02-20 09:40

    Just pure incompetence and no respect for the rules of the road. The deaths of these children are so unnecessary. May this be a lesson to all those taxi drivers who do not obey the laws of the road!

      Barry - 2012-02-20 10:18

      Agree completely, but it goes beyond not respecting rules or obeying laws of the road. It is all about stupidity and not having mental capacity enough to understand dangerous situation. We see absolute stupidity on our roads everyday which is beyond the understanding of intelligent persons.

  • zee.kimble - 2012-02-20 09:46

    These little children trusted this man to get them to school, he literally had their lives in his hands. Screw prison, may he burn in hell.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-20 10:08

      zee, what a piry we do not have the death penalty any more. this is one place where it would be such a welcomed relief. i am inclined to see the point of a slow death for something like this as well though.

  • charockthony - 2012-02-20 10:00

    Life always historic it shld nt surprise us

      Gerald - 2012-02-20 10:10

      And it is apathy like that which eventually causes lawlessness to be accepted as the norm by default. Evil happens when good people do nothing.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-20 10:17

      Gerald, that is why we need to stand up and be counted. all problems are everyones problem. this it does not affect me need to change in the minds of SA

  • hilton.baartman - 2012-02-20 12:16

    This story is something personal to me. I grew up in front of Mr Humphrey's who owns a tuckshop in my old neighborhood which became an institution. Mr Humphrey's was a respected man of the community and this is why this has hurt the community so much. That someone whom we all know and respected would take such a chance with innocent kids because 'he was late' is just unforgivable. I feel so much for the victim's parents and families. No amount of sentencing (or even the death penalty) will bring back the smiles of their children. How could you Uncle Humphreys? How could you?

  • Tamarin - 2012-02-20 12:59

    send them away forever...they will get what they deserve in prison.

      Demetrius.Syriopoulos - 2012-02-20 13:34

      too true Tamarin. they do get what they deserve. like, free accomodation free food free TV free conjugal visits. and the families get. free trauma free nightmares

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