'How can the killer get a lighter sentence than accomplice?'

2015-12-09 14:01
Rosemary Theron. (Facebook)

Rosemary Theron. (Facebook)

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Cape Town – Friends of slain Cape Town performer Rosemary Theron said on Tuesday it “didn’t add up” that her daughter, Phoenix, got a heavier sentence for the killing than the person who actually strangled her.

The Western Cape High Court sentenced 19-year-old Kyle Maspero to an effective 13 years in jail on Wednesday morning.

His ex-girlfriend and daughter of the victim, Phoenix Racing Cloud Theron, is already serving an effective 15 years in jail in terms of a plea agreement.

As part of his guilty plea last month, Maspero described how he and Phoenix counted down four minutes as he held a rope tightly around Theron's throat.

Theron, 39, was killed in her Clovelly home on March 7, 2013.

Family friend Michelle Searle said she felt “sick and emotionally burned” after hearing the sentence.

‘I don’t understand the justice system’

“If she is the accomplice and he is the actual doer, I don’t understand the justice system,” she said on behalf of a group of family friends gathered on the court steps.

She believed he should have got “at least” the same sentence as Phoenix because he was not remorseful.

In light of pleading guilty, Judge President John Hlophe said he gave Maspero the benefit of the doubt when it came to showing remorse.

He was a minor at the time he committed the premeditated crime.

- Read: Friends of strangled performing artist want justice

Hlophe said he would have been the “perfect candidate” for life imprisonment had it not been for his youthfulness.

Upon hearing this, Maspero sobbed in the dock.

The casually dressed teen wiped his nose with his sleeve and said "thank you" to a policewoman when she brought him a glass of water.

“I would also be crying if I were going to prison,” Hlophe remarked.

The judge described Theron’s death as “the most brutal killing”.

‘You knew her’

“The victim was someone that you knew, the mother of your own girlfriend… It was uncalled for. There was no provocation. I feel this is a very serious crime.”

He described Phoenix as "evil" and could not comprehend she would want her own flesh and blood dead.

Hlophe firmly concluded he should not receive a heftier sentence than her. He took into account that he was a first time offender and that he had been under correctional supervision for two years.

The most important factor for the court was the need to protect society.

“The Western Cape is getting out of control. More and more we are being faced with crimes of serious violence and with innocent people.”

The court handed down a sentence of 18 years imprisonment, of which five years were suspended for five years on condition he not be found guilty of a similar offence.

Hlophe said he was sure Maspero would regret what he had done for as long as he lived.

The teen burst into tears again. He tucked a book under his arm as he was led down to the police cells.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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