Judgment expected in Luke Tibbetts case

The three-year-old was struck in the head by a stray bullet in Westbury eight months ago.

FILE. Three-year-old Luke Tibbetts was struck in the head by a stray bullet in Westbury last year. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The family of Luke Tibbetts says although today is an extremely emotional day for them ahead of judgment in the trial against the man accused of killing him, they want to close this chapter in their lives.

The three-year-old was struck in the head by a stray bullet eight months ago while sitting on his mother's lap in a car in Westbury.

He died less than a week later in hospital.

Tibbetts's uncle, Llewellyn Valentine, says no judgment or sentence will bring back the three-year-old, but his family is confident justice will be served.

"We, as a family, have confidence and trust in the justice system of South Africa."

Valentine says Tibbetts's mother Candice will not be in court today, but he will read out a short message on her behalf if judgment wraps up early in the morning allowing the judge to move onto sentencing proceedings.

"She's not okay, but I just hope and pray that this thing can just finish."

The defence and the state prosecuting team are aiming to proceed to mitigation and aggravation of sentence if the judge agrees.

Murder accused Lindray Khakhu's family has been approached for comment but say they'll only speak after the trial.