Cape Town couple who murdered 71-year-old man head back to court

2016-07-26 17:47

Cape Town – An Observatory couple, convicted of murdering a 71-year-old man in his home, will return to the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday for further sentencing proceedings.

Craig and Bridget Smeddle were recently found guilty of murder, robbery, forgery, uttering, and defeating the ends of justice.

They stabbed Robert Symons, beat him over the head, and strangled him with one of his shoelaces in his Table View home in July 2014.

Their lawyer, Morne Basson, told News24 that most of a social worker’s report was read into the record when the couple appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon.

The rest would be read on Wednesday, followed by testimony in aggravation and mitigation of sentence.

Basson said he had earlier sought a postponement to bring an application for leave to appeal their conviction, and to lead further evidence.

However, the court felt it was in the interests of justice to finish sentencing proceedings, he said.

The couple had a history of serious drug addiction, in particular heroin.

Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said, at the time of the conviction, that the couple had stolen power tools, valuables, and Symons’s car.

"They sold these items for financial gain. They also forged his signature on various documents for the purpose of selling the vehicle to a State witness and attempted to persuade him to lie about their identity after their arrest."

Craig presented one of Symons’s cheques to Standard Bank with a forged signature. He was convicted on a separate fraud count.

The couple is already serving a 15-year sentence for the murder of drug dealer Edwin Obiano. They killed Obiano with a homemade garrotte in 2011.

Ntabazalila said the State would ask for life sentences, the minimum for premeditated murder.



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