Pretoria woman's killer gets life

2013-05-02 22:16

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Pretoria - An Eersterust, Pretoria, mother's brutal death landed a man three life terms in prison on Thursday - on top of a life sentence he is already serving.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria sentenced Angil Lindie Straughan, 34, of Newlands in Johannesburg, to life imprisonment on charges of raping 33-year-old Leandra van Greunen, violating her with a stick and stabbing her to death.

Van Greunen was the mother of seven children, all presently in foster care.

Her half-naked body, with multiple stab wounds, was found in the bushes behind the Eersterust police station in August 2009.

She had been stabbed repeatedly in the neck, face, abdomen and thigh.

She bled to death.

Straughan was sentenced in 2010 to life imprisonment for strangling a Sophiatown woman.

The two murders were committed within 19 days of each other.

Life sentence

Acting Judge Johan Kruger ordered that half of Straughan's life sentence for the Van Greunen murder be served concurrently with the life sentence he was already serving.

Straughan was linked to Van Greunen's murder through DNA evidence from a vaginal swab and a bottle cap found next to her hand.

He claimed they had consensual sex earlier that day and that he had seen his friend, a drug dealer called Paul, murdering her.

Kruger rejected Straughan's evidence and found it was more likely he murdered and violated Kruger in a fit of anger when she refused his offer of alcohol in return for sex.

The judge said the attack on Van Greunen had been particularly brutal and inhuman. The rapes fell within the worse category of rape.

One could hardly believe that a man could act in such a way towards a woman. Society wanted women to be protected against such inhuman attacks, he added.

Kruger said he could not find any compelling reasons to impose a lesser sentence than life imprisonment.

Drugs and alcohol

The accused had abused alcohol and cocaine on the day of the crime, but there was no evidence that it had affected him in any way.

Although he expressed his condolences to Van Greunen's family for their loss, it was noticeable he never expressed any remorse for what he did, Kruger said.

A social worker said in a report Straughan had "two lives and two personalities".

His family described him as a stable, loveable, compassionate, caring person without any aggression. He however abused drugs, committed crimes and showed violent behaviour.

Straughan's previous stint in jail for armed robbery was ascribed to his drug abuse.

Van Greunen's mother Virgee Naicker said she still struggled to deal with her daughter's death.

She had seen her only daughter's body and how cruelly she was murdered.

Naicker and Van Greunen's father Loawy Hearst said they would never forgive Straughan.

"He should have been hanged," Hearst said.

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