Croeser is ‘volatile and brutal’ — state

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EVIDENCE has shown that Morné Croeser was “violent and unstable” and it would be a travesty of justice if he were to continue serving in the police force given his “volatile, brutal disposition”.

This is one of the submissions by state advocate Irene Neyt, who is opposing Croeser’s petition to the Chief Justice to apply for leave to appeal against his conviction and 23-year jail sentence for the murder of his wife, Erika, on August 28, 2010.

The lack of remorse by former police dog handler, Croeser (34), indicates he has no insight into the implications of his actions.

Neyt said Croeser was correctly found guilty of murdering his wife and of stabbing himself in his abdomen in a “controlled” manner to avoid injuring his vital organs to cover up the murder.

She also said his sentence was not shockingly excessive or disproportionate to his crime and highlighted aggravating factors in the case, including that Erika was his wife and the mother of his children and that her family had asked Croeser to go for anger management counselling as he was unstable. He did not heed their warnings and eventually murdered his wife.

Neyt said Erika was stabbed 14 times in a “vicious and brutal” attack and she did not die instantly; she was defenceless and murdered in the sanctity of her own home.

In addition, Croeser has shown no remorse, but covered up the murder and suggested that an intruder had killed Erika, said Neyt.

He had deprived his children of both their parents through his actions, she said.

Neyt said Croeser himself was responsible for this and he can’t now claim that it is not in his children’s best interests for him to be removed from society.

Neyt said the children have loving maternal and paternal family who can care for them.

She said Croeser’s exemplary police service was not mitigating.

In Croeser’s petition to the Chief Justice, he claims the court erred in rejecting his evidence that he and Erika were stabbed by an intruder when they got home in the early hours after a night out.

Croeser said he had no reason to kill his wife, that there were no problems in his marriage despite his affair with another woman, and that he and Erika loved each other.

He said an incident when Erika contacted his colleague to remove his gun — because she was afraid of him — had been an “over-reaction” on her part.

Neyt said in reply the state had led evidence which proved there were problems in the couple’s marriage, that Erika was afraid of Croeser and that he had threatened to kill her and that she was so afraid she attempted to get a protection order against him.

She submitted Croeser’s version that there was an intruder was improbable for a number of reasons.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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