Prosecution accepts Humphreys decision

2013-03-22 20:22
Jacob Humphreys (Picture: Sapa)

Jacob Humphreys (Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the Western Cape has accepted the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) decision to reduce the sentence of convicted taxi driver Jacob Humphreys, the National Prosecuting Authority said on Friday.

In a statement, DPP Rodney de Kock welcomed the SCA's clarification of the legal test for whether drivers were guilty of intentional murder or negligent culpable homicide.

"The court found that Humphreys' actions did not amount to murder because he did not accept that either his passengers or he himself would die, even though he realised that they might."

Nevertheless, De Kock described Humphreys's behaviour as representing "the most reprehensible degree of negligence".

"The legal certainty that this matter has brought will promote the proper and effective prosecution of motor-vehicle accidents resulting in death in future," he said.

"The sentence of eight years' imprisonment imposed reflects the extreme seriousness of Humphreys' behaviour and it will continue to serve as a deterrent to other negligent drivers."

He said the DPP would continue to pay special attention to prosecuting reckless drivers who caused the deaths of others on the road.

Earlier on Friday, the SCA reduced the 20 year sentence imposed on Humphreys to eight years, and replaced his 10 murder convictions with 10 counts of culpable homicide. It also set aside four counts of attempted murder.

Humphreys overtook a queue of cars waiting at the Buttskop level-crossing, Cape Town, on 25 August 2010, and tried to cross the railway line, even though the safety booms were down.

Ten children died and four were seriously injured when the train hit his minibus.

Read more on:    jacob humphreys  |  cape town

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