Steenkamp inside for at least 10 years

2014-08-15 00:00

DON Steenkamp — named for the first time today — is not likely to see the outside of prison for a decade, legal experts said about the Griekwastad boy who murdered his family. Steenkamp turns 18 today.

On Wednesday, he was sent to prison effectively for 20 years after being found guilty of killing his father Deon (44), his mother Christel (43) and his sister Marthella Steenkamp (14) on April 6, 2012 in their farm home.

He was also found guilty of raping his sister and trying to defeat the ends of justice.

Advocate Jaco Roux said the ruling by judge president Frans Kgomo stipulated the duration of the young man’s imprisonment.

“In terms of the Correctional Services Act he will serve at least half of the sentence before he can apply for parole.

“This does not mean that he will get parole after 10 years, just that he cannot apply before then.

“There will be other factors, like his conduct in prison, in considering his parole,” Roux said.

Steenkamp’s young age at the time of the murders and offences will not have any impact on future parole considerations, because the judge had already considered this factor in his sentencing.

Dr Llewellyn Curlewis, president of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, agreed Steenkamp will spend at least until 2024 behind bars before he can apply for parole.

He however said he doubted that Steenkamp will be considered for early release before he has served 15 years of his 20-year sentence, when today’s 18-year-old will be 33.

“He must serve at least half of sentence or 15 years’ imprisonment — whichever is longer,” Curlewis said.

“Even if he qualifies for parole after 10 years, there will still be other guidelines and regulations that can play a role, like inputs from the family members of the deceased,” Curlewis added.

He said the sentence was very fair and if it wasn’t for Steenkamp’s youth, he might have been given a life-long sentence, adding the judge showed a further leniency in letting the sentences run concurrently.

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