Luke Tibbetts killer gets life behind bars

2015-03-27 14:14
Lindray Khakhu has been found guilty of killing 3-year-old Luke Tibbetts. (File, Sapa)

Lindray Khakhu has been found guilty of killing 3-year-old Luke Tibbetts. (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Lindray Khakhu was sentenced on Friday to life in prison for the murder of Westbury toddler Luke Tibbetts.

Earlier, Tibbetts's uncle Lewellyn Valentine could not hold back his tears on Friday as he described how the 3-year-old boy's death had affected the family.

"It has left my family shattered," he told the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, sitting in Palm Ridge, during arguments in aggravation of sentence.

Khakhu, 22, was earlier found guilty of murdering 3-year-old Tibbetts. He was shot in the head in Steytler Street, Westbury, Johannesburg, on 2 August last year.

He was sitting on his mother's lap in a car as Khakhu shot at Keenan Mokwena, who was travelling in another car.

Mokwena was wounded. Tibbetts died in hospital six days later.

"We loved our little Luke very, very much and we miss him every day," Valentine said.

Luke’s brother: I want to fight person that hurt Luke

He would be haunted by Tibbetts' innocence as he sat on his mother's lap in the car that day.

Tibbetts' brother had asked "where is the person that hurt my brother? I want to fight him", Valentine told the court.

" ‘Uncle I want juice and crisps’, was the last thing he ever said to me when I dropped him off that Saturday. I will give everything just to have him back.

"It's not just Luke that's left us... but our sister has retreated from our lives. Candice is unable to appear in court today, and has been in and out of hospital."

Khakhu was found guilty of killing Tibbetts and Alton Mooi, guilty of five charges of attempted murder, 10 of unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, and one of pointing a firearm.

More loss

He was found not guilty on one charge of unlawful possession of ammunition.

Mooi's mother Salome Mooi testified that her son had five of his own children, and supported seven orphaned children.

"It really affected my family in many ways, because he had five children. He also adopted seven other children with no parents.

"I'm not working and he helped me, I'm a widow. He had his own place and looked after his children and myself," she told the court.

Mooi's youngest child was two when he was killed in June 2013.

Khakhu's lawyer Sog van Eck, arguing in mitigation of sentence, asked the court to take into account that alcohol had played a role in all of Khakhu's crimes.

He added that in some of the crimes Khakhu was provoked and was not the aggressor. He pointed out that Khakhu was being treated for a kidney condition.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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