State wants life sentence for Humphreys

2012-02-22 22:26

Cape Town - Taxi driver Jacob Humphreys should be jailed for life for killing 10 children, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

State advocate Susan Galloway said the only factors that counted in Humphreys' favour were his age and his having no previous convictions.

However, these were insufficient to justify any jail sentence less than life, she said.

Humphreys was convicted of murder, following an accident on August 25 2010 in Cape Town.

While taking children to school, he overtook a row of cars at the Buttskop level crossing in Blackheath, ignored safety signals and proceeded over the tracks.

A train hit the taxi, killing 10 of the children he was taking to school. Four others were seriously injured.

Galloway said on Wednesday Humphreys had had two previous opportunities to show remorse, but failed to do so. The first was when he was testifying in his own defence, and the other was when he testified in mitigation of his sentence.

"Instead of taking the court into his confidence and explaining his behaviour, he had persisted with his claim that he could not remember what happened."

Senior counsel for the defence Johann Engelbrecht said Humphreys had accepted the court's rejecting his claim of not remembering the accident.

"He does not deny that he was on the wrong side of the road as he overtook the string of cars that were stopped at the level crossing, but he cannot remember it."

Engelbrecht said his client had accepted responsibility for the crash.

"That morning my client was transporting children whom he loved, as if they were his own."

To that the judge said Humphreys was approaching the age of 60. As he had been transporting a number of children for a number of years, he should have known better.

Sentencing would take place on February 28.

  • Ken - 2012-02-22 23:37

    This man is not a monster. He is an idiot. He should spend at least five years in prison and never be allowed on the roads again.

      Sibanda - 2012-02-23 10:56

      yah life sentence will be too much for an idiot..he has learnt his lesson...he was just stupid to think he can beat the train..5 years will be enugh

      Nick - 2012-02-23 14:28

      I'm not sure about the term he should serve, maybe 5 years is enough, but I was thinking more along the lines of 10 (probably out on parole in 5), but the point is, this is a sensible sentence. Life? This man did not want to kill the children. He made a VERY stupid mistake, the burden of which he will have to carry for the rest of his life. Sure he has to be punished, but a life sentence is nothing but petty vengeance.

  • Fawzia - 2012-02-22 23:37

    I agree, life sentence would be just

  • Johann Enslin - 2012-02-22 23:39

    Terrible that lives where lost, but this is manslaughter with aggravating circumstances. Murder is premeditated. "Should have foreseen" would likely be the state's argument.

      Johann Enslin - 2012-02-22 23:43

      Emotions do not facts make.

  • Jim - 2012-02-22 23:46

    Just hang him

  • brionyl.french - 2012-02-23 05:01

    This is a prime example of someone who could be executed, and save South Africa 30/40 years of paying for this man in prison...He killed 10 people why are we giving him a free ride. Off with his head, as they said back in the day... and off with his head it really should be.

  • clivegoss - 2012-02-23 06:55

    "I don't remember" a covenient case of altzheimers "light" ?Take away his licence to ever drive a vehicle gain on a public road, because for however long we all wish they should lock him away, he will be out on whatever excuse in no time at all. Wellcome to the current South African "justice" system

      Bernadette Amir - 2012-02-23 07:10

      And you know you are right, in two years time he'll be out

  • Jaune - 2012-02-23 07:30

    Hang Jub Jub too

  • Marlene Black - 2012-02-23 07:51

    I'm sure this man did not intend to kill the children. Many of the aforementioned punishments are uncivilised and brutal. Surely we have moved beyond that? Put this man to work in some community service where he works for the community and the fruits of his labours will benefit others. If it were one of my children who had died, I too would be baying for his blood - but is that not why we have a justice system? For an impartial solution?

      Silvana - 2012-02-23 08:12

      yeah. Use him as a boom gate at a level crossing.

  • TheJaydedKing - 2012-02-23 07:56

    Although I realize I will likely be slotted for this I think you need to firstly remember that it wasnt intentional. He never sought to kill those kids, he merely behaved in a reckless way and endangered his passengers. All of us dont enjoy the typical driving style by taxi's and most certainly he should be punished, but you can only go so far on an accidental case of manslaughter without remorse. This gent will be put in jail for all time, he will be along side rapists and murderers serving short sentences for intentional acts.

      Mlungisi - 2012-02-23 09:50

      Well this guys is not an ordinary taxi driver that drives over yellow lane. He transported school kids with a minibus

      Mlungisi - 2012-02-23 09:59

      Well this guys is not an ordinary taxi driver that drives over yellow lane. He transported school kids with a minibus

  • Silvana - 2012-02-23 08:00

    I think it's a fair sentence. He is only a taxi driver, so what sentence does the State want for JubJub? That's going to be interesting.

  • Patsy - 2012-02-28 12:43

    Such a quick and efficient case!!! Why not the same for what's-his-name... Jub-Jub. He was also responsible for killing people no matter what the reasons he gave. And it's still hanging fire?? He must have very powerful friends - obviously Jacob Humphries doesn't have that privilege

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