PMB woman who handed her boyfriend the knife to cut her boss’s throat, jailed

Published Nov 10, 2022


Durban – A Pietermaritzburg mother of two who handed her boyfriend a knife to kill her boss has been jailed.

Jade Ashley Barnard, 36, pleaded guilty in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday ,to the murder of businessman Vernon Wilton Viviers.

Judge Piet Bezuidenhout jailed her for 22 years.

Viviers was found dead at his shop, Tasty Takeaway, in Prestbury on August 8.

Barnard had been employed as a shop cleaner by Viviers.

Last month her boyfriend Martin Grieb pleaded guilty to killing Viviers over an argument of a R50 advance pay.

He told the court that he had arrived at the shop on the morning of August 8 and asked Viviers for the money, and when he refused a scuffle ensued and he stabbed Viviers.

Grieb was jailed for 25 years.

This week Barnard corroborated her boyfriend’s version admitting that she acted in common purpose with Grieb in the murder.

In her section 105A plea and sentence agreement, handed to the court by attorney Bongani Mbatha, Barnard said soon after arriving at the shop Grieb approached the deceased and asked him for an advance payment of R50.

She said when Viviers refused to pay him this angered Grieb and the argument ensued between the two which culminated in the physical fight.

“Grieb overpowered the deceased and threw him on the shop floor and sat on top of him.”

Barnard said her boyfriend sat on the deceased and asked her to pass him a knife to which she obliged.

“Grieb then stabbed and cut the deceased’s throat open with a knife killing him instantly.”

She said he tried to clean the blood but was disturbed by a private security officer.

Grieb admitted to killing Viviers in an argument “that went too far”.

Barnard said she and Barnard tried to flee into nearby bushes but was soon arrested and charged of the murder.

She told the court that she was truly remorseful for her actions.

The court heard that Barnard has two children, 12 and 9 years old, and has no previous convictions.

In a victim impact statement handed to the court by deputy director of public prosecutions Mbongeni Mthembu, the deceased’s daughter, Storm Jessica Viviers, described the devastation their family endured.

She said she had recently become engaged and her father was robbed of the opportunity to walk her down the aisle.