Applause, Cheering As Group Sentenced Over Student's Rape And Murder
WARNING: Distressing Content.
A public gallery in South Africa's Western Cape High Court erupted in cheering and applause as three men were handed life sentences over the brutal rape and murder of a 21-year-old student in 2017.
Eben van Niekerk, Geraldo Parsons and Vernon Wiboo were handed two life sentences each for the rape and murder of Hannah Cornelius, as well as an additional 10-year sentence each for kidnapping their victim.
The trio were also handed lengthy sentences for the kidnapping and assault of Hannah's friend Cheslin Marsh, who the group brutally attacked and left for dead.
Nashville Julius, a fourth man involved in the groups' horrific crime spree was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for the robbery and seven years for the kidnapping of both Hannah and Cheslin.
Together they will serve nearly 300 years imprisonment for their crime spree which stretched over 11 hours.
The public gallery erupted in applause as Judge Roshenie Allie read out each sentence, after the gang was convicted last week.
In her sentencing Allie said none of the accused showed any remorse for their crime and said the victim's family had been "torn apart" from their actions, while Cheslin was left with "extreme trauma", local media reported.
Horrific Crime Spree
During their trial, the court heard graphic testimony from Parsons who admitted to the allegations after earlier pleading not guilty with the rest of the accused.
He gave horrifying details of the events that transpired on May 27, 2017, telling the court how the group saw their victims in a parked blue and white Citi Golf before carjacking and kidnapping them.
Parsons told the court how they left Cheslin for dead after attacking him with a brick to the head, before driving-off with Hannah still in the car.
All three later took turns raping their victim, with Parsons telling the court Hannah was "terrified" throughout her ordeal.
He then told the court the gang stuffed her into the boot of the car and planned on dropping her off at a farm, but once they stopped he said Hannah refused to get out of the car.
It was then that one of Hannah's attackers stabbed the 21-year-old in the neck before the group delivered the fatal blow by dropping a rock on her head.
After killing their victim the trio then allegedly robbed a number of other women, continuing their crime spree before eventually being tracked down and arrested by police.
Cheslin suffered severe head injuries and a broken arm in the attack but managed to regain consciousness and raise the alarm at a nearby property, at which time Hannah's body had reportedly already been found.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 000. If you need help and advice, call 1800Respect on 1800 737 732, or Lifeline on 13 11 14. A range of domestic and family violence resources based around the country can be found here.
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