Taxi driver 'refused to accept responsibility'
Cape Town - Western Cape taxi driver Jacob
Humphreys was in effect jailed for 20 years on Tuesday after being convicted of
killing 10 children in a crash.
Western Cape High Court Judge Robert Henney
imposed a 12-year prison sentence for each of the 10 murder charges, to run
This came to 12 years in prison for the 10
For the four attempted murder charges, the
judge handed down a six-year prison sentence for each.
Four of the six years on each charge would
run concurrently with 12-year sentence for murder. This added in effect another
eight years - bringing the total jail term to 20 years.
The driver's licence of the 56-year-old taxi
driver was also cancelled with immediate effect.
"The court should be mindful of the
difference between public opinion and public interest. The object of this
sentence is not to serve public opinion but to serve the public interest,"
"Courts should exercise caution to not
be swept away by emotional sentiment and media attention."
The sentence drew a gasp from friends and family
in the gallery, with some bursting into tears.
Humphreys held a grave expression throughout
the reading of the sentence, frowning deeply and pursing his lips.
Dressed in a light green shirt, grey pants
and bright green tie, he sat in the dock straining to hear Henney's sentence,
which was delivered in English.
Henney said that when deliberating over the
sentence, he had taken into account Humphreys' personal circumstances, his
offences and the interest of society.
He said that wilful and wanton disregard for
the rules of the road showed a clear lack of respect for the safety of others.
"There was more than enough time for the
accused to consider what he is doing... in deciding the type of sentence to be
imposed the court must consider the degree of culpability or
"I still do not know what motivated him
to do these actions... but he refuses to accept responsibility."
Humphreys was convicted of murder, following
an accident on August 25, 2010 in Cape Town.
While taking children to school, he overtook
a row of cars at the Buttskop level crossing in Blackheath, ignored safety
signals and proceeded over the tracks.
A train hit the taxi, killing 10 of the
children he was taking to school. Four others were seriously injured.