rapist boyfriend suspects

Photograph: File.

SA man sentenced to life in jail for ‘barbaric’ cellphone robbery murder

Leeroy Leornard has been sentenced to life in jail for stabbing Ettiene Danster, 42, to death for a cellphone.

rapist boyfriend suspects

Photograph: File.

A 28-year old man has been sentence to life in jail for murder after he stabbed his victim to death during an attempted cellphone mugging on the streets of Gqeberha.

Gqeberha man, Leeroy Leornard was sentenced in the Port Elizabeth Regional Court to life in jail for the May 2020 murder of Ettiene Danster, 42.  He sentenced to an additional five years in prison for a charge of attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Regional spokesperson for Gqeberha, Anelisa Ngcakani, said that the murder took place on the evening of 5 May 2020 when Danster was out walking with his girlfriend.

“Danster was walking with his girlfriend at Reginal Road in Gelvandale when Leornard approached them,” Ngcakani said.

She said Leonard had demanded that Danster hand over his cellphone. However, he had responded by saying that he did not have a cellphone and also did not know how to use one.  “In response, Leornard took out a knife and stabbed him once in the left side of the chest. He died instantly and Leornard fled the scene. Danster’s girlfriend was left unharmed,” Ngcakani said.

Accused pleads ‘not guilty’ to murder after stabbing

Leornard had pleaded not guilty to the murder and robbery charges. He had based his entire legal defence in court purely on his detail of all the allegations.

In aggravation of sentencing the prosecutor, Ntombebhongo Makasana, told the court that the crime was “barbaric”. 

She asked the court to pass a befitting sentence for the murder and not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment as the murder had been committed during a robbery. 

Makasana argued that a hefty sentence would send out a clear message to the public that courts do not tolerate murder and other violent offences.

“The NPA congratulates the prosecutor and investigating officer for securing this sentence,” Ngcakani said.