Jeffrey Thompson, 34, was convicted on 15 charges, including two counts of murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, six counts of housebreaking with intent to steal, theft, housebreaking with the intention to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The father of five confessed to the crimes and assisted police with pointing out details of the crimes, before he entered into a plea agreement with the State, thereby avoiding a trial.
He received life imprisonment for each of the two murders and the court ordered that all the sentences run concurrently with the life sentences, meaning 58 years’ and six months’ direct imprisonment.
Thompson’s violent spree dates back to September 2017, when he struck his girlfriend, Magdalene Willemien Simons, 31, in the face with an empty beer bottle, resulting in a serious open and bleeding wound, after she enquired about a R200 note she had left in the home earlier, according to the State.
After that incident, Thompson broke into several farmhouses and stole various items.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila, says: “He was so daring in his crimes, to an extent that at some properties he would break in while the owners were inside, threaten them with an axe and take their belongings.”
Thompson was arrested on 7 September 2017, but a magistrate at the Robertson Magistrates’ Court released him on 10 December 2018.
According to evidence in court, two days after his release, Thompson entered the art studio of Elsie Steyn, 71.
He watched her and her husband, Petrus, 64, going about their business in the main house.
He slept in their bed in the art studio and gained entry into the main house the following morning.
He found the elderly couple asleep and, without provocation, hacked them with an axe.
The Steyns died as a result of wounds to the head.
The NPA welcomed the sentence.