Gauteng man guilty of killing wife

2012-08-21 22:18
Albert van Vuuren. (File, Beeld)

Albert van Vuuren. (File, Beeld)

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Pretoria - A Bronkhorstspruit liquor shop manager who killed his wife by breaking her neck and repeatedly stabbing her was convicted of her murder by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The court rejected the evidence of Albert van Vuuren that he had no recollection of the night in July 2010 when his wife Monica was murdered.

A pathologist testified that she was stabbed 25 times and had a broken neck and jaw.

Her death was caused by a spinal injury and stab wounds to both sides of her chest, which penetrated her heart and caused her lungs to collapse.

Van Vuuren told the court he drank a tranquilliser with liquor that night and could not remember what had happened.

He said his friend Gordon McCallum's evidence that he had confessed to killing his wife could not be true because he "was not a murderer".

Divorce

He testified he was "happy" when his wife served him with divorce papers, because they had a loveless marriage.

Judge Elizabeth Kubushi rejected this.

She said Van Vuuren would not have testified that he had hoped to sort things out with his wife if he welcomed the divorce.

She said there was no reason to reject McCallum's evidence.

McCallum admitted to having been institutionalised for bipolar disorder, but remained firm that Van Vuuren had woken him in the middle of the night and confessed to killing his wife.

The first police officer at the scene found Van Vuuren sitting in the kitchen with blood dripping from an unexplained wound on his hand and his wife lying dead on the kitchen floor.

His wife's blood was found on the jeans he was wearing that night.

Shoddy investigation

Kubushi chastised the police for a shoddy investigation and for failing to collect vital evidence at the murder scene, which meant that the whole truth would never be revealed.

The murder scene had not been protected, and had already been cleaned by the time the police went back to the scene the next day.

Although there was evidence of blood all over the house, no effort was made to collect any forensic evidence or to find out who had cleaned the house.

Sentencing proceedings begin on 30 August.

Van Vuuren's bail was extended.

- SAPA
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