Latest judgments

Criminal- Appeal- Conviction and sentence- Credibility of witness and mutually destructive versions-Evaluation of evidence-Relevance of evidence-Charge sheet must contain all the charges levelled against an accused-Cannot place facts before the Court that does not carry any evidential value-Material misdirection from the Court a quo- warranting the interference of the appeal court-Conviction and sentence set aside- Appeal succeeds.

Criminal procedure – Appeal – Sentence – Condonation for the late filing – Reasonable explanation and prospects of success – Explanation not reasonable in circumstances – Plea of guilty – Youthfulness – Weight to be attached – Lifestyle of appellant emancipated himself from hiding behind youthfulness – Punishment pre-eminently a matter for the discretion of the trial court – Court a quo properly weigh

Criminal Procedure – Sentence – Plea of guilty – Murder with direct intent – Offence committed in a domestic setting – The brutality in which it was committed – As well as their prevalence – The legitimate interest of society outweighed interest of the accused – Court’s consistency in imposing long custodial sentences preferred.

Mental state of accused- Application for referral in terms of provisions of sections 77, 78 and 79  of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 –  Factual or medical basis required before referral -  Mere submissions from the bar not satisfactory – Epilepsy not a mental illness per se.