Franziska murder 'vicious, callous and cruel'

2017-06-07 14:15
Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

Franziska Blöchliger. (Supplied to Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The man who raped, robbed and killed 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger in 2016 could not expect a lesser sentence because of his poverty, or his regret at committing the crimes.

It was also not a mitigating factor that the teenager had been unconscious when she was raped and then murdered, the Western Cape High Court ruled in sentencing Howard Oliver on Wednesday.

Oliver received two life terms for the rape and murder, and 15 years in jail for the robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Blöchliger had been jogging in Tokai Forest in Cape Town, while her mom walked nearby with the family dog.

Oliver initially pleaded not guilty, saying he had only robbed Blöchliger of her ring and phone after smoking Mandrax.

His defence was that he had needed money to pay for his daughter's crèche fees.

He later admitted to raping her and suffocating or strangling her to death.

Oliver, a father of two with 10 previous convictions, removed Blöchliger's cellphone, earphones and ring.

READ: Man guilty of killing, raping Franziska to hear fate in court

'Callous and cruel'

Judge Kate Savage said, in her written judgment, that the attack was "vicious, callous and cruel".

He had to be punished harshly for the unfathomable level of violence against a child.

"This court stands firm against the continued abuse of women and children in our society," said Savage.

"Women and children must be able to make use of public spaces safely in all communities across our country, without the risk and fear of attack, bodily violation or even loss of life."

Once a painter and plasterer, his last job was as a farmworker in Constantia.

The court took note of his circumstances and the difficulty in supporting a family on R2 400 a month.

It was also clear that he'd had a drug habit since his teenage years.

"This court accepts that this combination of factors - financial need, drugs and no doubt limited opportunities for financial advancement - creates a tinderbox for crime to thrive."

Regret, not remorse

Despite all these factors, he could not rely on a defence of youthfulness. By not testifying, he had also failed to explain why he committed the acts, and in such a vicious manner.

He had shown regret, rather than remorse.

Two men were handed suspended sentences after they pleaded guilty to buying Blöchliger's stolen cellphone.

Co-accused Jonathan Jonas has abandoned his bail application.

Western Cape police welcomed the sentence.

"Violence committed against children is at the forefront of our fight against crime and offenders can expect that our investigators will pursue every avenue to ensure their conviction," Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut.

Read more on:    franziska blöchliger  |  cape town  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.