Killer dad's sentence increased

2008-05-30 14:44

Bloemfontein - The Supreme Court of Appeal on Friday increased former Air Force sergeant Flippie Venter's 10-year prison sentence for killing his two children and the attempted murder of his wife to 18 years.

The court upheld an appeal by the State against an effective sentence of 10 years imprisonment imposed by the Nelspruit Circuit Court and increased his sentence to 18 years.

When the trial court ordered the 10-year sentence, it indicated that it had taken into account various personal circumstances at the time of the incident, such as being under the influence of alcohol, his state of mind and that he suffered from depression and had suicidal intentions.

Venter shot and killed his two children, a girl, five, and a boy, four, and wounded his wife with a R4 military assault rifle in 2006 after the couple had a fight.

During the trial, Venter testified that two service periods in Burundi had dramatically affected his life.

Friends of his drowned during one trip for which he had not received any counselling.

The second time around, in 2004, he was charged with the rape and murder of a teenage girl and was held in custody for six months in a shipping container.

The SCA found the lower court had, in sentencing Venter, over-emphasised his personal circumstances.

The Bloemfontein court held that this was a matter where Venter's personal circumstances were outweighed by society's need for retribution and deterrence.