The sentencing took place at the circuit court in Knysna sitting as the high court at the Knysna Magistrate’s Court building, where the judgment was also delivered. File picture.
The sentencing took place at the circuit court in Knysna sitting as the high court at the Knysna Magistrate’s Court building, where the judgment was also delivered. File picture.

Hefty sentences for Knysna pensioner’s murderers

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Sep 17, 2021

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Cape Town - Exactly two years to the day since they murdered Knysna pensioner Peter Henson, 76, the two people convicted of killing him, John McCombi, 29, and Henry Molligan, 45, have received hefty sentences for their crimes.

For robbery with aggravating circumstances McCombi received 15 years imprisonment, while for murder he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Both sentences will run concurrently.

Molligan was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances and 25 years imprisonment for murder. With five years of the second sentence suspended, he was effectively sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.

The sentencing took place at the circuit court in Knysna sitting as the high court at the Knysna Magistrate’s Court building, where the judgment was also delivered.

McCombi and Molligan were originally charged with housebreaking with intent to rob and to murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and murder.

Judge Henney acquitted both on the first charge but ruled that they were guilty of the latter two charges.

During the trial the court was told that Henson lived alone in his house in Sedgefield, Knysna, and that on the evening of September 16, 2019 McCombi and Molligan went to his house to rob and kill him.

They broke into the house, overpowered Henson, bound and gagged him and then stabbed him, leaving him for dead.

Henson’s body was discovered by a suspicious neighbour, who had been alerted by Henson’s dog acting strangely in the street outside the house. It was this neighbour who called the police.

That same night, the police recovered items belonging to Henson at McCombi’s house, also in Sedgefield.

Following the sentencing, provincial commissioner Thembisile Patekile praised the detection and prosecution teams that were instrumental in the long-term imprisonment. The NPA also welcomed the sentence.

INVESTIGATIVE officer Sergeant Xolani Petros and State Advocate Evadne Kortje.

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Cape Argus

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