An Observatory couple convicted of killing a 71-year-old pensioner before selling off his possessions has been sentenced to life in prison.
Craig Smeddle, 34, and his wife Bridget, 33, were yesterday sentenced at the Western Cape High Court for the murder of Robert Symons two years ago, in July 2014, in his flat in Table View.
The couple denied the charges against them and claimed they were being framed by a group of Nigerian drug dealers hell-bent on revenge.
But the Smeddles, nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde by the media, are no stranger to the courts.
Last year in August, the duo was convicted of murdering Edwin Obiano, a drug dealer in Observatory, on July 19, 2011.
They are currently serving 15 year sentences each for Obiano’s murder.
In the Symons case, the couple had been convicted of robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, two counts of fraud, forgery, uttering and defeating or obstructing the administration of justice.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s Eric Ntabazalila says the duo was sentenced to 15 years for robbery, life for the premeditated murder and seven years each on fraud, forgery and uttering charges.
The sentences will run concurrently.
“The couple murdered Symons, 71, by stabbing him with a sharp object, using blunt force to his head and strangling him with one of his shoelaces,” Ntabazalila explains.
“They stole various items from his house which included Ryobi Weed Eater, a bench grinder, an Acer Computer monitor, a Nokia cellular phone, a set of jumper leads as well as his Hyundai Getz motor vehicle.
“They also forged his signature on various documents for the purpose of selling the vehicle to a state witness and later attempted to persuade the state witness to lie about their identity after their arrest.”
According to state prosecutors, the couple showed no remorse and maintained their innocence.