File picture: Timothy A Clary

Cape Town - One man has been sentenced to an effective 26 years in prison and his co-accused to 24 years for the murder of their German boss.

This comes after Victor Jacobs and Neville Martin were found guilty in the Western Cape High Court earlier this week of the murder of Erich Poll, who was originally from Cologne in Germany but lived in Cape Town.

He co-owned a wood and metal furniture design business in Woodstock.

According to the court’s findings, Poll had been handcuffed, beaten and strangled on April 9 last year. His body had then been disposed of down the mountainside at Du Toit’s Kloof Pass.

The men were also convicted of the theft of Poll’s bakkie, as well as of three other counts of theft relating to cash withdrawals at ATMs totalling R6 100.

Judge Pat Gamble sentenced the two on Thursday, giving Jacobs a 24-year sentence for Poll’s murder and Martin 26 years. They each also got four years for the theft of the bakkie, as well as 12 months for each of the three cash withdrawal charges; however, these sentences would run concurrently with their sentences for the murder.

Judge Gamble looked at three factors in sentencing: the personal circumstances of the two accused, the nature of the crime and what was in the interest of society.

He also looked at the cumulative effect of their circumstances in deciding whether a departure from the minimum sentence for murder of life imprisonment was justified.

Both had children, had had tough upbringings and had no previous convictions.

Jacobs had also assisted the police in their investigation, which Martin had not done, and shown remorse.

However, he also described the crime as “gruesome”.

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Cape Times