Drug addict gets 24 years for 'gay' murder

2015-06-04 18:39
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Pretoria - A drug addict who bashed his friend to death while on parole for attacking another friend was sentenced in the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday to 24 years imprisonment.

Judge Tshifiwa Maumela sentenced Juda Plekenpol, 32, to 24 years for murder and four years for robbery. Both sentences were to run concurrently, and Maumela backdated the sentence to July 2014, when Plekenpol was convicted.

Plekenpol admitted to bludgeoning Louis Eksteen, 45, to death with a knobkerrie at his home in Garsfontein in April 2013.

He claimed he had lost his temper and self-control because Eksteen touched his hand in what he regarded as a sexual manner.

He tied the gravely injured Eksteen's hands with great force to subdue him, demanded the pin code for his bank card and then put a cloth around his mouth and dragged him to the bathroom.

He claimed he had "impulsively" stolen Eksteen's bakkie and other goods to feed his drug habit. Plekenpol was arrested when he tried to sell his victim's CDs at a pawn shop.

Eksteen's mother Adri discovered his bloodied body in the bathroom of his home three days later.

Plekenpol had several previous convictions and was out on parole after being jailed for attacking and kidnapping another friend.

He admitted to being a male prostitute since the age of 12 and having sex with Eksteen's lodger before the incident.

Maumela said Plekenpol never claimed that his victim had subjected him to violence or threats and the amount of violence he used on Eksteen was out of proportion to Eksteen's conduct towards him.

'Senseless and inhuman attack'

Photos of Eksteen's body and the post mortem report showed that he had been submitted to a senseless and inhuman attack.

Plekenpol claimed to have been raped several times, but never implicated Eksteen in one of the rapes.

He told the court he tried to commit suicide days before the incident, but Maumela said he clearly knew what he was doing.

The judge said the community needed to be protected against Plekenpol, who was given a number of chances to reform, but did not take advantage of the opportunity and committed the offences while he was freshly released from prison.

He seemed to engage in a pattern of behaviour where he formed sexual relations with persons of the same sex and it invariably ended in the harming of his partner in attacks that seemed to be largely unprovoked and unpredictable.

Plekenpol insisted on Thursday on handing a long hand-written letter, addressed to the health minister, to the court, but Maumela said the court was not a go-between between prisoners and ministers and Plekenpol could not be allowed to take over proceedings.

In the letter, Plekenpol pleaded for help and complained that he had been assaulted in prison without his complaint being investigated and that he was not receiving the medication and treatment he needed.

Eksteen's mother told reporters she had forgiven Plekenpol for what he did, even though she believed he was lying about what had happened that fateful day as her son was not gay.

She said she was not happy about Plekenpol's conviction or imprisonment, but was glad that he had been removed from society so that he could not do the same thing to another mother's child.

Plekenpol's family members said they had been trying for a long time to get him psychological help, without success.

They described him as a good-natured boy, who was led astray by bad friends, drugs and alcohol.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

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