Cape Town – A man who stabbed his estranged wife at her birthday party, in the mistaken belief that she was in a lesbian relationship, and then protested innocence to the very end, was jailed for 18 years on Tuesday.
Glen Abrahams, 44, appeared in the Goodwood Regional Court, before magistrate Constance Nziweni.After stabbing is wife four times in the back, Abrahams turned the knife on himself, in an attempted suicide. His wife died on the scene, but he survived the suicide attempt and awoke in hospital five days later, with stab wounds to his neck and chest.
He told the court he “blacked out”, and could not recall the incident.Cross-examined by prosecutor Daniel Cloete, he said he and his wife had separated, and that he was an uninvited guest at her party.
At the party, he had seen his wife with her woman friend and, in the belief that they were in a lesbian relationship, he had gone into a rage. He remembered going to the kitchen, but had “blanked” after that. The next he knew was waking up in hospital five days later, he said. He said he had heard from people that he had stabbed his wife at the party, that she had died from her injuries, and that he had then stabbed himself.
Abrahams had hoped for an acquittal, on the basis that everything had happened whilst he had blanked out, and that he could thus not have formed the necessary intention to murder.
But the magistrate ruled that he had already formed the intention to kill when he went to the kitchen, before blanking out.
Because Abrahams had murdered his wife in a state of rage, and had not planned the incident, he qualified for a prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years, as opposed to a life sentence for pre-meditated murder.
The court could only deviate from a prescribed sentence, and impose a less severe one, unless there were substantial and compelling reasons to do so. The magistrate ruled that there were none.
In addition, his protest of innocence, to the very end, indicated a lack of remorse, she ruled.
This justified an additional three years jail, to make his sentence 18 years, she said.