Young Red Criminals to be sentenced

2015-06-18 05:47
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Johannesburg - Four members of Worcester's Young Red Criminals (YRC) gang from Worcester are expected to be sentenced in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Isadore Links, Henwill Wolhuter, Clayton Swartz (the leader) and Jerome Bosman, who all sported the tattoo "YRC" have been found guilty of two murders, dealing in methamphetamine, and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunitions.

They were found guilty of the murder of Mitchell Lakay, who was shot dead along the R43 road between Worcester and Villiersdorp, in January 2014. They also killed Deswill Coetzee, by shooting and stoning him. The gang members, aged between 24 and 26, have been in custody since February 2014.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Erna Erasmus rejected a plea by their lawyer that the court show mercy for them and pushed for life sentences to be handed down.

"They were forced to be a part of the gangs because it was the only way they could survive,'' said defence lawyer Johan van Aswegen.

“They grew up in a society where they never had a real chance at life.”

But Erasmus countered: “Did they show mercy for the deceased? There was no mercy, no mercy whatsoever.”

The court was told of their personal circumstances which included that they had dropped out of school before matric and had few sources of income. Three have children to support.

“Punish them because they have committed terrible crimes but punish them in such a way that they are not left without hope. Leave them with the hope of rehabilitation.”

Read more on:    cape town  |  gangs  |  crime

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