Teen killer De Koker jailed for 25 years

2015-04-16 16:37
Alex de Koker

Alex de Koker

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Vereeniging - Convicted murderer Alex de Koker was sentenced to 25 years in prison by the Vereeniging Regional Court on Thursday.

Magistrate Retha Willemse sentenced his co-accused Michael Erasmus to three years correctional supervision for his involvement in the death of 15-year-old Raymond Buys at the Echo Wild Game Rangers camp in 2011.

The duo were found guilty of murder, child abuse and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Willemse said De Koker did not act in the heat of the moment and was in control of the "tragic event".

"You [De Koker] were the person in control of this tragic event and you could have put an end to it, but you didn't," Willemse said.

She said De Koker was guilty of systematically torturing a "defenceless child" and ensured he could not escape.

Even after an unsuccessful suicide attempt, De Koker did not see the error of his ways, she said.

De Koker, instead, staged recordings of conversations with Buys in order to mislead the court.

He was sentenced to 20 years for murder and five years for child abuse, which he will serve concurrently with a two-year sentence for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

De Koker's lawyer said his client would apply for leave to appeal.

Willemse said Erasmus was almost a child himself, at the age of 18 when he committed the crimes.

Erasmus received a 12-year suspended sentence for murder which would go into effect if he committed any transgressions in the next five years.

Buys died a month after being admitted to a Vereeniging hospital following a 10-week stay at the camp.

During arguments in mitigation, his lawyer Phillip Venter said De Koker's four years in custody should be considered during sentencing.

Erasmus's lawyer Chris "Dagga" Smith said a report by a correctional officer revealed there were "so many mitigating circumstances" to justify correctional supervision.

When De Koker was led into court, one of his supporters shouted "Sterkte Alex" (Good luck).

Erasmus was supported by his father and wife with their seven-week-old daughter.

Buys suffered severe abuse at the hands of the two men. He was punched and struck with a spade, a stick, and a 60cm-long rubber pipe.

A doctor who examined Buys when he was admitted to hospital said the boy was brain damaged and in a deep coma.  He also had a broken arm and showed signs of kidney failure.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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