Man, who killed son using washing line to 'get back' at estranged wife, gets 25-year sentence

2018-10-31 19:43
Prison cell. (Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

Prison cell. (Photo: Getty Images/Gallo Images)

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A man who murdered his son, 7, to "get back" at his estranged wife was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Wednesday.

Pravin Kubair, 30, of Phoenix pleaded guilty to strangling his son, Elijah, in a local park with a section of a washing line in front of his sister, 4.

While he claimed that the little girl was asleep at the time, a report from a therapist before presiding Judge Mohini Moodley, told a different story.

Read: Durban father sends chilling WhatsApp message to grandmother – minutes before allegedly murdering son

"She noted that the child presents as very traumatised and confused. She is unable to verbalise her deep grief...she said her father hurt her brother and then she became very sad and quiet.

"She said: 'Dad hurt Elijah in his neck….I saw him. He took us by the garage. It is a bad place. I was scared...the lights was in my eyes. No one came (she said three times). I took daddy's fingers out. Daddy put his hand on my neck too. Daddy must go'."

In his guilty plea, Kubair said the relationship between himself and his wife had broken down.

'I was upset'

He admitted that he drank excessively, and that he physically and verbally abused her.

On the weekend of the murder in April last year, the children had visited him and were supposed to return to their mother on Sunday but she insisted that they only come home on Monday, when he had to be back at work.

"I was upset… I decided to kill myself and the children," he said.

Also read: KZN dad cuddled, kissed son before 'smashing him to death'

While admitting that he had been drinking beer, he said he could appreciate the difference between right and wrong and did not raise it as a defence.

In an interview with a probation officer, Kubair said that after their separation, his wife had obtained a protection order and denied him access to the house and refused to resolve the conflict.

He felt that she had deprived him of everything and so he decided to deprive her of the children by killing them.

Killing of children 'a national disaster'

Passing sentence, the judge said Kubair could have committed suicide without harming the children.

"By his own admission he did so to punish his wife, as though the previous abuse he meted out to her was not enough. He exposed his daughter to emotional scarring. The further consequences of her witnessing her father strangling her brother to death will only become evident later in her life."

Making reference to a recent study, the judge noted "appalling statistics" indicating that 2 600 children had been murdered since 2016 and 99% of the children in the study had witnessed or been subjected to violence.

"The social worker labelled this as a national disaster.

"The sentence must reflect the abhorrence of society to this."

Judge Moodley said Kubair would have to live and carry the burden of the death of his child and the destruction of his family as a result of his own conduct but that he should never have contemplated using his children as "instruments of punishment" against his wife.

"The only mitigating factor is that he is a first offender and he might be a suitable candidate for rehabilitation," she said, explaining why she deviated from the prescribed minimum sentence of life.

Read more on:    durban  |  courts  |  crime

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