Man who killed rival; harassed, raped woman, loses appeal

2008-02-04 00:00

A man who committed a “whole array” of serious crimes, including murder, kidnapping, rape, theft and the unlawful possession of a firearm in Richards Bay in 1996 has failed in an appeal to the full bench of the Pietermaritzburg High Court against his effective 36-year jail sentence.

Paulus Benjamin Wiese, now 39, was sentenced 10 years ago to a total of 53 years’ imprisonment by Judge John Broome in Mtunzini (with parts of the sentences ordered to run concurrently).

Wiese was found guilty, among other crimes, of the murder of Mark Dudley Schuch, whom he shot in the head on April 17, 1996.

The trial court found that after the murder — which he committed in front of his former partner, who had left him for Schuch — he forced her to clean up the blood.

He also smashed Schuch’s head on the floor after killing him, and forced her to watch.

He raped the woman twice during the incident, and also stole items from her, including her rings.

Judge Phillip Levinsohn, with Judge Leona Theron and acting Judge Nompumelelo Radebe concurring, said he was not persuaded the trial judge erred.

Wiese was married to the complainant in the matter while living in Namibia. She had left Wiese and came to South Africa, where she formed a relationship with Schuch and lived with him in Richards Bay.

Wiese followed her to this country with the object of getting her to reconcile with him, and during the period March 20 to April 17, 1996 “terrorised” her, and in the words of the trial Judge “made her life a living hell”.

Judge Levinsohn said it was submitted on behalf of Wiese that the sentence was so severe as to induce a sense of shock.

However, in his view, Judge Broome was “at pains” to consider the cumulative effect of the sentences, and carefully evaluated a psychologist’s evidence relating to Wiese and the fact that Wiese had sustained brain damage in a motor vehicle accident in 1988.

The trial judge said that had it not been for the psychological evidence of diminished responsibility, he would have imposed life imprisonment on Wiese.

According to the psychologist, the possibility that Wiese could pose a threat to the woman again if released from jail could not be excluded.

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