A convicted killer who terrorised the Robertson, McGregor and Bonnievale areas between 2017 and 2018 has been sentenced to two life terms. Picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - A convicted killer who terrorised farming communities in the Robertson, McGregor and Bonnievale areas between 2017 and 2018 has been sentenced to two life terms, 58 years’ and six months’ direct imprisonment in the Western Cape High Court.

Jeffrey Thompson, 34, was convicted on 15 charges including two counts of murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, six counts of housebreaking with intent to steal, theft, housebreaking with the intention to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The father of five confessed to the crimes and assisted police with pointing out details of the crimes, after which he entered into a plea agreement with the State, thereby avoiding a trial.

He received life imprisonment for each of the two murders and the court ordered that all the sentences run concurrently with the life sentences.

Incidents of violence were traced back to September 2017 when Thompson struck his girlfriend, Magdalene Willemien Simons, 31, in the face with an empty beer bottle, resulting in a serious open bleeding wound, after she enquired about a R200 note she had left in the home earlier, according to the State.

After that incident, Thompson broke into several farmhouses, climbing on roofs, breaking windows, cutting alarm cables and stealing items including laptops, cellphones, gloves, an axe, jewellery, a coffee flask and more, totalling thousands of rand.

“He was so daring in his crimes, to an extent that at some properties he would break in while the owners were inside, threaten them with an axe and take their belongings,” NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said.

While Thompson was arrested on September 7, 2017, a magistrate at the Robertson Magistrate’s Court released him on December 10, 2018.

According to evidence received by the court, two days after his release, Thompson entered the art studio of Elsie Steyn, 71.

He watched Steyn and her husband, Petrus, 64, going about their business in the main house.

He slept in their bed in the art studio and gained entry into the main house the following morning.

He found the elderly couple asleep and, without provocation, hacked them with an axe.

The Steyns died as a result of wounds to the head.

The NPA welcomed the sentence.

Cape Times