Killer taxi driver Humphreys appeals conviction, sentence

The Supreme Court of Appeal has reserved judgment in an appeal by taxi driver Jacob Humphreys against his conviction and sentencing for a deadly crash in 2010.

His legal team approached the SCA yesterday asking that it overturn his conviction on 10 counts of murder and replace it with one count of culpable homicide, The Cape Times reported.

He began serving a 20-year jail sentence last February after the Western Cape High Court found him guilty on 10 counts of murder and four of attempted murder.

Humphreys, 57, was behind the wheel of his taxi on August 25, 2010, when it was hit by a train. Ten children died and four were injured in the crash.

He had overtaken a queue of cars waiting to cross the railway line at the Buttskop crossing in Blackheath and ignored warning signals.

According to the report, his legal team argued the State had not proven beyond reasonable doubt that he had the necessary intent, and that, at most, he had been negligent.

It cited case law which dictated that, where the death of more than one person flowed from a single negligent act, the conviction should be on one count of culpable homicide involving all those who died as a result of the act.

It argued that a “just and proper sentence” would be a five-year prison term, The Cape Times reported.

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