A psychologist believes the full story behind the brutal murder of a gay man might never be known after she examined his convicted killer.
In her report, clinical psychologist Jillian Butterworth says while Christo Oncke’s story was “contradictory and confusing”, this was a result of his “way of thinking” and not because he’s lying.
Oncke, who has been found guilty of killing David Olyne because he is homosexual, is being sentenced today.
Prosecutors are asking for a life sentence.
Yesterday Oncke appeared at a Western Cape High Court sitting in Ceres where final arguments from the state and defence were heard before Judge Seraj Desai.
Oncke killed 23-year-old David by tying him up, beating and strangling him and then burning him alive on March 22 on a farm in the Ceres area.
Oncke, 29, has admitted to beating up David after he claimed the victim allegedly pulled down his pants to give him oral sex, but he denies killing him.
Butterworth was instructed to assess Oncke’s mental state before sentencing, following a request by the defence shortly after his conviction last year.
“It is difficult to assess and comment on someone who denies responsibility and motivation for offending,” said Butterworth in her report.
“However, Mr Oncke admitted to assaulting the deceased. Although his story is contradictory and confusing, it is thought that this is a result of his thinking and not as a result of dishonesty. He does stick to a basic version of his story.
“As such, it is thought the full story of what occurred on the day that the deceased was killed will never be known.
“Mr Oncke is not considered a risk to the correctional services staff, and his mother reported that he has a good reputation in the community.
“However, he is thought disordered, it is recommended that Mr Oncke see a psychiatrist and get treatment for psychosis.”
During arguments, state prosecutor Advocate Ntsoaki Mabilietse asked for a life sentence, arguing that the murder was brutal, and not “normal”.
She added that the community needed to be protected from these kinds of crimes, particularly the gay and lesbian community who were often targeted.
“This was a severe crime and we need a sentence that fits the crime,” she said.
The defence asked for a lenient sentence, taking into account the accused’s mental state, the fact that he’s already spent two years in jail, and that the nature of the crime pointed to more than one person involved.
Oncke was handed was sentenced to 17 years behind bars for a hate crime by the High Court sitting in the Ceres Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.