Brent Henry & Juane Jacobs, who were sentenced to life in jail for fatally assaulting Stellenbosch University graduate Carl Schoombie in 2015, have reportedly failed to convince an appeal court that they deserve a lighter sentence.
According to News24 reporter, Jenna Etheridge, Western Cape High Court Judge Nolwazi Penelope Mabindla-Boqwana was not convinced by the arguments the two made last month that the life terms for murder were disproportionate.
Judges Thandazwa Ndita and Babalwa Mantame, who were on the High Court Bench that heard the appeal, agreed.
According to reports, in November 2015, Henry and Jacobs followed the Uber taxi that Schoombie and his three friends were in after a night out in Cape Town.
Etheridge reports, “They blocked the taxi in a cul-de-sac to target Schoombie, accusing him of starting trouble at Tiger Tiger nightclub in Claremont. He was kicked and beaten. Schoombie died from a blunt force head injury several days after he was admitted to hospital in a coma. The pathologist said he had the type of injury usually seen in motor vehicle accidents or in cases in which people fell from considerable heights.”
Judge Robert Henney described their attack on Schoombie as “brutal, callous, cowardly and dastardly”.
Etheridge further writes, “He said there was no basis for the accusation that Schoombie started trouble at the nightclub.”
In his appeal, Brent Henry argued that the court disregarded his personal circumstances where they would see that he was a productive member of society and a first offender.
Henry, a father of 3, said the court did not take into account his alcohol intake and the role it played in the commission of the crimes, the fight which broke out at the club, that it was a case of mistaken identity and that he was not a violent person.
Juane Jacobs said at his appeal that he had bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactive disorder and consequently, his “moral blameworthiness”, as well as his alcohol and drug abuse problem and he doesn’t believe that the court took this into proper consideration.
“This is one of those cases, in my view, where personal circumstances pale into inconsequentiality when compared to the aggravating factors,” said Mabindla-Boqwana.
All three judges were in agreement and their life sentences stand. The appeal for lesser sentences were denied.
Etheridge wrote, “Schoombie’s brother Lee told News24 he never doubted the appeal would be denied but was relieved that the chapter could finally “be closed for good”.”
He continued saying, “They are exactly where they deserve to be. Knowing that they will never walk the streets again brings comfort, not only to me and my family but to the other families who know exactly who these guys really are, who know what hurt and pain these cowards have caused in the past and who know all that wasn’t said in court and know exactly what they were capable of.”
After his brother’s murder, Lee Schoombie created the Carlstrong Foundation aimed at supporting people through grief, loss and other emotional consequences, such as depression as a result of violent crime.