Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Henri van Breda gets three life sentences for family axe murders

Henri van Breda gets three life sentences for family axe murders

A South African court has sentenced former Perth student Henri van Breda to three life sentences for murdering three family members with an axe in South Africa.

He was found guilty on May 21 of axing his brother Rudi and parents Teresa and Martin to death‚ before turning to his younger sister Marli to attempt the same.

Sitting in the High Court, Judge Siraj Desai said the "cold-blooded murders" had been carried out with "excessive and gratuitous violence".

Van Breda, who wore a light grey suit, blue shirt and patterned tie, remained emotionless as the sentence was handed down.

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The 23-year-old was convicted of three counts of murder and one of attempted murder last month.

Van Breda attacked his wealthy family with an axe and has refused to explain or apologise, maintaining that the perpetrator was a masked intruder. Defence advocate Pieter Botha has indicated that they will appeal both the conviction and sentence.

The State said that his sister, Marli, who was 16 at the time of the attack, barely survived and had to grow up alone with the knowledge that her own brother killed her family.

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