Satanic killers’ sentencing postponed

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IOL ST Kirsty Theologo 01

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Lindon Wagner (R - Blue shirt) and Robin Harwood (L) have been found guilty of murdering Kirsty Theologo. Picture: Antoine de Ras

Johannesburg - Sentencing of Lindon Wagner and Robin Harwood, found guilty of killing Kirsty Theologo, was on Tuesday postponed in the High Court in Johannesburg sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court.

Judge Geraldine Borchers postponed the case to Wednesday.

Argument in mitigation and aggravation of sentencing by the defence and the State was completed on Tuesday.

Cousins Wagner and Harwood were also found guilty of attempted murder and assault.

Theologo and her friend, who was 14 at the time and may not be named, were assaulted, doused with petrol and set alight in a Satanic “soul-selling” ritual on a hill in Linmeyer, Johannesburg, in October 2011. Theologo died in hospital of her injuries a week later. Her friend survived.

Prosecutor Carina Coetzee said the court should impose heavy sentences on the two to make it clear to society that violence against women would not be tolerated.

She said Wagner and Harwood only felt sorry for themselves, not the victims.

“They feel sorry for themselves having to face prison, not for what happened to their victims. That is not true remorse,” Coetzee said.

She said the teenager was left with deep physical and emotional scars and the murder had torn Theologo's mother apart.

The defence teams argued that Wagner and Harwood did not plan to commit the crime, and had no control over themselves at the time.

Lydia van Niekerk, for Wagner, said the rejection Wagner suffered during his childhood when he tried to reach out to his father had a serious impact on him. Wagner started taking drugs from an early age, became an addict, and had a long history of drug abuse.

“That was his coping mechanism,” she said.

Wagner took part in the murder on the spur of the moment and he consumed drugs and alcohol on the night.

“He is sorry,” said Van Niekerk.

Borchers asked how Wagner could be sorry while he did not accept guilt for his actions. Van Niekerk said Wagner did not understand why he committed the murder and that he had no motive.

Gail Sidwell, for Harwood, said her client was immature, and lived almost in an unreal, fantasy world. He was not an assertive person and was always likely to go along with others.

“The ideas they had were not normal. They had no normal judgement or restraint that night. Robin did say he was high that night after taking alcohol and drugs,” Sidwell said.

Something might have taken control of her client at the time.

“His rationale at the time was that it was God's will.”

Initially six people were charged for Theologo's killing and the attempted murder of her friend. Harvey Isha was acquitted of all charges in November. Courtney Daniels, 18, was convicted of common assault for lacing the victims' drinks with brake fluid prior to the attack. She was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for five years.

Lester Moody and Jeremy King confessed to the killing and were sentenced to 17 years behind bars, five of which were suspended.

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