Triple life plus 16 years for axe murderer Henri van Breda

Van Breda has been sentenced to life in prison for the 2015 ax murders of his parents and brother and received a separate sentence

Triple life plus 16 years for axe murderer Henri van Breda

It was as if every single journalist‚ photographer‚ Van Breda‚ Du Toit‚ witness‚ curious onlooker and old school friend within reach of Cape Town had crammed into the court waiting for triple axe murderer Van Breda to finally hear his life sentences.

The 23-year-old was on Thursday handed three life sentences for killing his parents and older brother, 15 years for the attempted murder of his younger sister and 12 months for defeating the administration of justice.

Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai described van Breda as a "cold-blooded killer".

Van Breda, wearing a light grey suit, did not show any emotion as the sentences were handed down.

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The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA)'s Eric Ntabazalila says the state will oppose the appeal.

Defence advocate Pieter Botha had called for a "merciful" sentencing, arguing that Van Breda was a first-time offender who was "barely 20" when he killed his family.

Throughout the trial, van Breda maintained his innocence, claiming instead that a laughing, axe-wielding attacker, also armed with a knife, was behind the murders.

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