Child killer Volkwyn ’a wolf in sheep’s clothing’
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CAPE TOWN - “It takes a village to raise a child but unfortunately in this matter, it took a village to kill a child.”
This was an argument in mitigation of sentencing for convicted child killer Melvin Volkwyn, by his attorney Susan Kuun, who submitted that the neglect and disregard for a court order by slain Orderick Lucas’s mother, Davidene Lucas, and father Kounkou Dziendelet and his grandmother and grandfather, were circumstances that had to be considered for a lesser sentence.
In contrast, Volkwyn was likened to a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” who had waited for the opportune time, after gaining the trust of the toddler’s loved ones and then murdering Orderick, said State prosecutor Robin Lewis.
This was heard in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday as sentencing proceedings got under way for Volkwyn, who was convicted last month of the murder of Orderick. The toddler’s lifeless body was found dumped in a stormwater drain after he had been missing for eight days.
Kuun said: “It is the submission of the defence that every person that knew that Orderick wasn’t well cared for, that Orderick was not being fed, that Orderick was not where he was supposed to be - and that includes his parents and grandparents - were supposed to stand next to the accused in this matter.”
Kuun further submitted that imprisoning Volkwyn for an extended period would not be the solution as there are “underlying problems”.
Volkwyn, a qualified hairstylist who has two previous convictions of drug possession, faces a prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment for murder.
Lewis said Volkwyn had “misused his position of trust” and disagreed with the defence’s arguments, saying that while Orderick had not grown up in the “most favourable conditions”, the mitigating factors “held no water” as Volkwyn had taken Orderick from a safe environment.
“It was (Volkwyn) who collected (Orderick). It was Volkwyn that took Orderick to a place where they purchased and sold drugs. It was Volkwyn who had taken Orderick back home with him. It was Volkwyn that had killed Orderick,” said Lewis.
In the victim impact report, Lucas - who said she was too emotional to be called to testify - said the heinous deed had affected and traumatised her family.
Lucas said she suffered from shock, anxiety and heartache and experienced immense pain and trauma coming to terms with her child’s death and said she blamed herself too.
According to Lucas, she looked forward to the day Orderick would go to crèche and aftercare with his siblings and believed “he would have been a beautiful boy if he was still alive today”, adding that Volkwyn had an unhealthy obsession with her toddler son because “he always bought him clothes and had something nice for him without me asking for it”.
Lucas said while she had gone to a Christian rehabilitation counselling centre after Orderick’s death, she felt helpless.
“I was alone with my pain and felt helpless. They couldn’t help me because it was a centre for drug rehabilitation and nobody there had lost a child. I had many nightmares …
“I just want to ask Mel why he did what he did to my child and what the reason was. He was an innocent baby with his whole future ahead of him,” Lucas said in the report.
Acting judge Nolundi Nyati postponed the matter until September 28 for sentencing.