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Court hears long prison term will be harmful to Jason Rohde’s children

The matter resumed in the Western Cape High Court on Monday. Rohde has been found guilty of 2016 killing his wife, Susan, almost three years ago.

FILE: Convicted wife killer Jason Rohde talks to his lawyer in the High Court in Cape Town during his sentencing proceedings. Picture: Shamiela Fisher/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Three witnesses have been called to testify in sentencing proceedings in the trial of convicted wife killer Jason Rohde.

The matter resumed in the Western Cape High Court on Monday. Rohde has been found guilty of killing his wife, Susan, almost three years ago.

The defence started off proceedings by telling the court that Rohde’s eldest daughter, Kathryn, has opted not to come to court to testify in mitigation of sentence.

Advocate Graham van der Spuy says that the 20-year-old feels too intimidated that her evidence would be broadcast live.

Van Der Spuy then called two of Rohde’s friends and his mother as character witnesses.

Craig Livingstone told the court he has known Rohde since 2015 and says they became close friends after having met at their daughters’ school.

Livingstone has described Rohde as a supportive father who was involved in the day to day lives of his children.

He adds Rohde was fun, kind, caring and supportive as a friend and had a calm demeanour.

Livingstone ended his testimony by telling the court a long prison term would be harmful to Rohde’s three children.

ROHDE’S MOTHER TESTIFIES

Brenda Rohde has told the court she never saw acts of physical aggression from her son. She’s testified that when Rohde gets angry, he goes quiet and walks away.

The convicted wife killer’s mother has described his three daughters as strong young women who love and support their father and look for guidance from him.

Two of his children are currently enrolled as first-year students at Stellenbosch University.

Their grandmother tells the court her son’s eldest daughter dropped out of university last year because the pressure of the trial had become too much for her.

She adds the 20-year-old worries that she has to support her younger siblings financially if their father is sent to prison.

The defence witness says the three girls adore their father and she’s pleaded with the court to be lenient, for their sake.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)