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Victim impact statement used to help prosecute school vandals

The statement will be used by prosecutors to oppose bail at the first bail appearance of the accused or after the conviction of the accused in aggravation sentence.

FILE: A bathroom at Cascade Primary School where intruders caused flooding after entering through the ceiling. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Two men have been convicted of theft and vandalism at an Athlone school.

The two men, Faeez Brown and Shane Walters, broke into Eros School in Bridgetown in May this year.

Brown was sentenced to three years’ direct imprisonment and Walters was given three years’ correctional supervision.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) says the victim impact statement was used in this case and is pleased that this format is being used in crimes of vandalism against schools.

The statement will now be used by prosecutors to oppose bail at the first bail appearance of the accused or after the conviction of the accused in aggravation sentence.

The department's Jessica Shelver said: “We are delighted that after a long period of discussions between the Western Cape Departments of Education and Community Safety, the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority,
we have agreed on a format of the impact statement that will be used in crimes of vandalism against our schools.”

Shelver says by using this statement, the State is able to provide the court with additional information on the impact of crimes committed at schools, crimes such as burglary and vandalism.

“To date, there have been unsatisfactory findings for cases involving vandalism at our schools and this case will now send out a clear message that there will be serious consequences for our criminals who target our schools.”

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