Giovedì, 25 Febbraio 2016 17:20 | Killer family gets reduced jail terms

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Pietermaritzburg - The Pietermaritzburg Appeal Court on Friday reduced the jail sentences of a Durban family who killed a man they accused of stealing religious artefacts from a temple.

Murugan Chetty,

his son Kuben, and his nephews Jason and Damien, of Clare Estate, were convicted in the Durban High Court in April 2014 of the kidnapping and culpable homicide of Deen Reddy and of kidnapping Leon Joseph.

They had accused the two men of stealing lamps from a community temple in Clare Estate.

At Murugan’s behest, Reddy and Joseph were kidnapped, handcuffed, and assaulted in September 2012.

Murugan impersonated a policeman to "arrest" Reddy and Joseph.

Murugan was a police reservist until 2006, when he was dismissed for not doing his required hours of duty, and for misconduct, Independent Online reported in April 2014.

Reddy's body was thrown off a bridge. It was found the next day.

They claimed that a Burundian national, Zuberi Byamungu, who absconded before their trial, assaulted Reddy and Joseph.

Appeal Judge Johan Ploos van Amstel said all four accused were correctly convicted of culpable homicide. The Chettys had perpetrated a prolonged and vicious assault on Reddy and should have foreseen the possibility of death.

He said Murugan had influenced his son Kuben and probably, to a lesser extent, his nephews.

Ploos van Amstel reduced Murugan's 15-year jail sentence to 10 years, by making part of some sentences run concurrently with others.

Jason's 11-year jail sentence was reduced to eight years, and Damien's to seven.

Kuben's sentences were set side and he was ordered to undergo five years of correctional supervision.

Judges Piet Koen and Anton van Zijl agreed.

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