Henri van Breda’s lawyer will petition the Supreme Court of Appeal after the Western Cape High Court refused him leave to appeal.
WESTERN Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai took less than five minutes to refuse Henri van Breda’s application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence.

Judge Desai presided over the 66-day trial and in May convicted the 23-year-old of the January 2015 triple axe murders of his parents and brother, the attempted murder of his sister and defeating the ends of justice.

He sentenced him to three life sentences, 145 years for attempted murder and one year for defeating the ends of justice, and ordered the sentences run concurrently.

Last week, after hearing the defence’s arguments in their bid for leave to appeal, Judge Desai said one rarely got a case against an accused as strong as this one. “This case fits like a mosaic, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle everything fits together.”

After considering defence lawyer Piet Botha’s arguments, Judge Desai remained adamant that no compelling reasons had been advanced for an appeal to be heard.

Judge Desai said the State had established “conclusively” that Van Breda committed the crimes.

“The key pillars of the State’s case provide conclusive evidence of his guilt and are in effect unassailable,” the judge said.

A lesser sentence would not have been appropriate “in light of the heinous nature of the offences”. Furthermore, there was an absence of mitigating factors other than youthfulness and a lack of previous convictions. “Hopefully this is the last word on the case,” he said.

But defence lawyer Piet Botha confirmed to journalists that it would not be.

Botha will petition the Supreme Court of Appeal and file papers within 15 days. If the SCA refuses the application for leave to appeal, there will be no other recourse and Van Breda will have to accept his fate behind bars.

Van Breda proclaimed his innocence throughout the trial and told the court that at least one, possibly two intruders, were behind the murders.

Judge Desai dismissed his version when he convicted him in May and said it was “nonsensical” that intruders would have entered the family home, and fled without taking anything.

In his judgment, he branded Van Breda a “cold-blooded killer” and said the attacks on the family were carried out with the intent to kill. - African News Agency (ANA)