Woman, 21, handed life sentence for decapitating Cape Town pensioner

She was only 18 when she decapitated and dismembered an elderly woman, but Sheree Prince will spend the next 25 years behind bars after being handed a life sentence by Judge Bruce Langa in the Western Cape High Court on Friday.

"Based on this evidence there should, in my view, be no doubt that the accused is a dangerous person who should not be unleashed on the unsuspecting public," Langa said.

Prince, now 21, was also handed six years for two counts of burglary – three years per incident.

She had pleaded guilty to murdering Sandra Malcolm, 74, in her Capri Mews, Lakeside, home on April 18, 2015.

On that day Prince scaled the gate and entered the house, where she saw Malcolm lying in bed.

She switched on the light and Malcolm woke up, threatening to phone the police when she saw the intruder.

Stolen items found at father's house

Prince told the pensioner that she was looking for help, indicating that her foot had been burnt with hot food when she kicked a pot over the night before. Malcolm gave her Savlon antiseptic liquid mixed with water to wash her foot. She then made the burglar toast and tea.

Prince threatened Malcolm with a knife when she offered to call for an ambulance.

The elderly woman tried to take the knife from Prince and she stabbed her.

She dismembered the body and stuffed it in a bin and a black container.

Prince returned to her hometown of Citrusdal a few days later with the help of relatives.

The stolen items were found at her father's house upon her arrest.

Prince told clinical psychologist Willie Hanekom during her assessment sessions ahead of sentencing that she had decided to kill Malcolm because she thought the woman had poisoned her when she offered her something to eat. Prince claimed to have feared that the pensioner would phone the police once she had fallen asleep.

The National Prosecuting Authority's Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said they welcomed the sentence.

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