25 Years Imprisonment For Man Who Killed Family Friends
The Pietermaritzburg High Court sentenced Shane Steven Boucher (38), to an effective 25 years imprisonment, after he pleaded guilty to the murders of Rita Westfahl (76), and her daughter, Carol Lesley Westfahl (58), in May 2022. Boucher also pleaded guilty to theft. Boucher knew the women for 15 years, as they lived near his mother’s house in the Oribi area, outside Pietermaritzburg. On the day of the incident, he had consumed three quarts of beer at his home in Thornville, before going to the Oribi area to visit his friend, and before going on to Durban. Since his friend was not at home, he stopped over at the Westfahl’s home. There, he and Rita drank some beers together, and when he was too drunk to travel, she asked him to stay over till the next day.
In his plea, he said that since there was load-shedding that night, he went to the kitchen in the dark to drink some water. He felt a presence behind him and without checking to see who it was, he drew the knife from his belt and stabbed Rita twice in the neck. He then panicked and decided to run away, but on his way to fetch his bag, he bumped into Carol. Fearing that she might identify him, he decided to kill her as well, by stabbing her. Since it was dark and he had no transport, he fled in Rita’s car. He drove down to Durban, where he lived on the beach until he was arrested in the Bluff area. He had gone into a supermarket to buy bread when was spotted by a Police officer, who realized that he was a person wanted by the authorities.
In court, Senior State Advocate Candy Kander, handed in a Victim Impact Statement compiled by Rita’s daughter and facilitated by Court Preparation Officer, Nokuvela Mlotshwa. In her statement, the woman said that she cannot recover from losing her mother and sister at the same time, especially at the hands of someone they knew so well. She said that they were kind caring people and she misses them dearly.
Boucher was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for Rita’s murder, 25 years imprisonment for Carol’s murder and 5 years imprisonment for theft. He will serve an effect of 25 years imprisonment. In sentencing Boucher, the court considered that he was a first offender, with no previous or pending convictions. He was also remorseful and complied with authorities as soon as he was arrested.
The NPA welcomes the swift finalisation of this matter and commends the work done by the Prosecutor and the Investigating team.
Note: The NPA’s media statements are available on the website: www.npa.gov.za
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