‘Please don’t let him out’

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November 25, 2016
‘Please don’t let him out’

SERVED FOUR YEARS: Jacob Humphreys

Parents ask parole board to review killer taxi driver Humphreys’ release

The father of one of the 2010 Blackheath crash victims has asked the parole board to review their decision to release former taxi driver Jacob Humphreys.

Humphreys, 61, who is responsible for the death of 10 school children, is expected to be released from prison in two weeks’ time.

In August 2010, Humphreys’ taxi collided with an oncoming train at the Buttskop Level crossing in Blackheath, after he ignored warning lights, overtook a line of cars and drove through a lowered boom.

The victims were Liesl Augis, 11, Jody Phillips, 13, Reece Smith, 7, Nolan February, 13, Michaelin de Koker, 11, Jason Pedro, 14, Nadine Marthinissen, 16, Jean-Pierre Willeman, 13, Cody Erasmus, 15, and Jade Adams, 10.

Humphreys was convicted in 2011 on 10 counts of murder and four of attempted murder, and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

After he appealed the conviction, the Supreme Court of Appeal changed the charges to culpable homicide and his sentence was reduced to eight years.

Last week the Department of Correctional Services confirmed Humphreys will be released on December 9 after serving four years in Paardeberg prison in Paarl.

Correctional services spokesperson Carla Williams previously said Humphreys served his minimum sentence.

“The inmate’s minimum detention period was in May 2015,” she said.

Williams also said the department has been in regular contact with the victims families.

But many of the parents say they only heard about the release through the media.

In a letter to the chairperson of the parole board and the prison’s area commissioner, the father of Jade Adams, Ambrose Arendse, says the parents were disappointed by the news.

“We received a letter of his approved parole without being invited to the hearing to give our input as required by law.

“This kind of conduct cannot be approved or endorsed by us as parents of the deceased.”

The upset father said they were “disregarded in the whole evaluation process”.

“We experienced great disappointed when the initial sentencing of 20 years was reduced to (eight) years,” he says.

“I demand that this matter receive urgent attention and that the whole parole matter will be re-evaluated according to the correct procedure.

“We want him to stay in jail and serve his eight-year
sentence.”

Correctional Services did not comment on the matter, despite being contacted.

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