MEDIA STATEMENT – CASE HEARING IN SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL
 
Leonelle Cassim Sassman v The State

Supreme Court of Appeal -78/06 Hearing date: 12 September 2006
  Judgment date: 20 September 2006

Criminal Law – Sentence – Appropriate sentence for motor vehicle theft


Media Summary of Judgment

A convicted car thief who had been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by the regional court, Nelspruit, had his sentence reduced on appeal to one of 7 years imprisonment. The SCA held that the regional court magistrate had incorrectly concluded on the evidence before him that the accused was part of the gang that had hi-jacked the car. The accused had been caught attempting to smuggle the car over the border to Mozambique four days after it had been hi-jacked in Johannesburg. The SCA held that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the accused was a party to the hi-jacking or that he knew that the car had been taken by force.