A Port Edward man was jailed for an effective 25 years on Monday for an attack on a couple on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast two years ago.

Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Chris Nicholson sentenced Fanano Nhlumayo to 10 years for each of the attempted murders of Jessica Jane Webster and her friend, American David Bovino.

Webster, an art student, became a paraplegic after she was shot in her spine. Bovino was hit in the legs and abdomen.

For robbing Webster and Bovino of watches, a laptop, an iPod, cellphone and other items, Nhlumayo was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Nicholson imposed the prescribed 15-year jail for the unlawful possession of a 7.65mm Browning firearm, three years for illegally having a shotgun, and four years for a large number of live cartridges.

The judge said some sentences would run concurrently, which meant Nhlumayo would effectively spend 25 years in prison.

Webster and Nicholson were attacked at her Leisure Bay home on the night of August 15, 2006.

Webster, now 26, spends most of her time in a wheelchair but has managed to walk a little with crutches. Nicholson said Bovino had recovered physically but suffered much emotional trauma.

"The country is in the grip of an unprecedented crime wave. We are surrounded by violence every day. The south coast of KwaZulu-Natal has become known as an area where much crime is committed," he said.

Two other alleged members of the gang behind the attack, Sbonele Mpisane, 19, and Sifiso Nhlumayo, 20, were acquitted on Friday. - Sapa