Mpuma man gets 15 years for hammer assault

2014-06-09 21:55
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Mbombela - A man was sentenced to 15 years in jail by the Nelspruit Regional Court on Monday for trying to kill his wife with a hammer and leaving her brain damaged.

Edwin Cruywagen, 44, who had pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, was also declared unfit to possess a firearm, a Sapa correspondent reported.

He attacked his wife, Francis Cruywagen, 53, at their home in Hazyview in June 2011.

She suffered brain damage and her family took her to the Netherlands, where she was euthanised through lethal injection at her request.

Magistrate Shelly Msibi said the case was not ordinary.

"When one uses a hammer, it gives an impression he doesn't care whether the person dies or not, especially a woman who cannot defend herself.

"If it was not for the injuries, she would be alive today. There are other people who go through such abuse but one cannot use rough backgrounds over abuse," she said.

Prosecutor Michael Mazibuko said Francis Cruywagen had suffered immense pain. She had about 260 treatment sessions from January to December 2012 at a cost of more R130 000.

"The fact is that she wanted to be euthanised in this country, which never happened," said Mazibuko.

During presentation of her pre-sentencing report, social worker Agnes Mokoena said Edwin Cruywagen had shown no remorse.

"He grew up in Zimbabwe and moved from places. His stepfather used to abuse his mother and his sister, and he and his siblings changed 12 schools," she said.

Mokoena said Cruywagen was exposed to violence and substance abuse after joining the army, which he left after a drug-related matter and other psychological problems.

"According to the sister and friends, he is aggressive. He had many fights with the victim and used to steal from the safe in their house," Mokoena said.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime

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