Ex-cop gets stiff sentence for killing wife

2012-01-17 19:05

Pietermaritzburg - Former police dog handler Morné Croeser was jailed for 23 years by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday for murdering his wife Erika.

Croeser, 34, was convicted on Monday of the August 2010 crime in which his wife was stabbed 14 times.

Judge Esther Steyn said Erika's daughters - aged seven and four - had been deprived of her life, hopes, dreams, and expectations.

Erika's family and friends had also been robbed of a sister, daughter, and companion.

Prosecutor Irene Neyt asked that Croeser be jailed for life, saying he had created the situation in which his wife was brutally murdered as she returned home from a pub.

Croeser was volatile, had shown no remorse, and had not taken the court into his confidence.

Neyt argued that it was unlikely he could be rehabilitated.

Defence counsel Murray Pitman said Croeser maintained he was not guilty and that he and his wife were stabbed by an intruder.

Croeser claimed that his hands and arms were cut while trying to fight off the intruder who stabbed him in the stomach and fatally stabbed Erika.

The State contended that he stabbed himself to lend credence to this claim.

During the trial, he claimed that the intruder had acted in reprisal because Erika had officiated in a disciplinary hearing against a worker at the Msinisi Reserve at Albert Falls dam.

Pitman said Croeser had a clean work record with no previous convictions.

He applied for leave to appeal the verdict and sentence, but Steyn refused.

He said a petition would be sent to the chief justice for leave to appeal.

Pitman asked that Croeser's bail be extended until a decision had been reached.

Steyn would not allow this, but said he could apply for bail when the petition was launched.

  • Kim - 2012-01-17 19:11

    23 Years a stiff sentence. He is lucky he never got life as he should have

      Paul - 2012-01-17 19:49

      He will be out sooner than that, eligible for parole after 13 years and 4 months Stiff sentence would be hanging from a tree

      kellyn - 2012-01-17 20:33

      the problem is that "life" is only 25 years. They need to take a life for a life i say

      Nicholas - 2012-01-17 21:37

      "Life" is technically 25 years but according to SA law you are allowed to apply for parol after 18 years if you are there for that long. Most "life" terms last anywhere between 4 and 15 years depending on behaviour. A "life" sentence does not exist in this country.

  • Sithando - 2012-01-17 19:11

    Was his wife expected to be alive for 23 years only?

      Boer - 2012-01-17 19:17

      Good point Sithondo this freak should be getting the death penalty or life.

      Yar - 2012-01-17 19:34

      Death penalty. He was a cop and understood the results of his actions.

      Louise - 2012-01-17 20:37

      I'm in total agreement with both Sithando and Boer - the deceased wife's life expectancy should be the total years the murderer is incarcerated, without the possibility of parole. Maybe if we don't succeed in bringing back the death penalty, such logic should be applied when sentencing ALL SAVAGES...?

  • marina.poniatowska - 2012-01-17 19:15

    Looking at our wonderful parole system, he'll be out in 10 years.

      cosmos.ndebele - 2012-01-17 19:48

      Marina i used to date a nice girl from Tarnow in PL, ar Polish by any chance from yr name?

      Louise - 2012-01-17 20:38

      @Cosmos - Get over yourself...!

      marina.poniatowska - 2012-01-17 22:07

      @Cosmos, my husband's Polish, from Warsaw

  • George - 2012-01-17 19:26

    Watch out for the rear guard. Papa wag

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2012-01-17 19:47

    Savages coming out in numbers these days!!!!

  • Chabi - 2012-01-17 19:47

    "You say they understand nothing but violence ? of course the first violence is "ours", but soon they will make it their own, i.e the same violence is thrown back upon "them" as when "their" reflection comes forward to meet us (them) when we go towards a mirror".. Frantz Fanon-"The Wretched of the Earth."

  • tracy.moller - 2012-01-17 19:59

    How does it take almost a year and a half to get this conviction? It's ridiculous, and then he's only sentenced to 23 years!! Disgusting! He should've gotten life!

      Jason Children - 2012-01-18 06:24

      life is 25 years

  • dooskop - 2012-01-17 19:59

    23 years' gosh just shows you a life 2day is worth tuppance!!!!!

  • Terco - 2012-01-17 20:17

    ....why women (especially the pretty ones), are attracted to sociopaths?????

      sarah.bouttell - 2012-01-17 21:10

      Socio's are really good at hiding who they are. There could be one sitting on the couch with you, or in your office, and you might never know, till you set them off. Charming feckers really...

  • Grum - 2012-01-17 20:51

    Excuse me. "Judge Esther Steyn said Erika's daughters - aged seven and four - had been deprived of her life, hopes, dreams, and expectations". Then" she(The Murdered Mother) returned home from a pub. I presume these facts have been dealt with in court in detail.

  • velilejonathan.williams - 2012-01-17 20:58

    This is bull***t at it's best form. Since when is 23 yrs a stiff sentence or was the reporter under the influence of green leaf.

  • Punkosti - 2012-01-17 23:19


  • Buti - 2012-01-18 07:20

    He should get 34years in prison not 23

  • Varena - 2012-01-18 18:51

    I think all these happenings these days should be understood from one point of view. Strange weather, strange human behaviour. Understand it the time is at hand. These should be more than extra minutes believe it or not.

  • d.j.dekker - 2012-01-19 11:47

    My name is Daniel Dekker, stay in Cape town. This is my nephew you are talking about! He did not murder hes wife! Trust my words and i know the Word of God will be with him and our Family and he will be found not guilty in the constitutional court.

  • barry.bezuidenhout - 2012-02-17 18:58

    Amazing all these opinions, yes, Steyn has passed a guilty verdict, unfortunately her opinion (like those posted here) is only an opinion, and based on circumstantial evidence. The case is seriously flawed and this will all come out in the appeal. I was there, I am still there every day. Judge Steyn, you were supposed too listen to the evidence and based on that, give a verdict, the fact that the state (police & prosecution) have only provided the information and evidence gathered that suited their case, makes one wonder what really went on during the investigation. Smith, I hope you read this, i will make sure you and the others that have covered their own "arses", are punished. Lastly, Steyn deliberately did not pass a sentence of 25 years plus, as she did not want to see this go to re-trial. So much for trusting herself, she has used this to further her career. I have no problem people being punished for what they have done, when there is a deliberate attempt to cover up, then I get angry. Unfortunately, so much damage has been done already, but, as they say, time will tell. As for the coverage of this case by the press in Pmb, I hope the reporter does not feel to bad about the way her editors have distorted her reports.

  • tam.schafer - 2012-11-19 17:36


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