Man jailed for 25 years for stabbing family friends to death during load shedding

KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.

KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.
PHOTO: Nash Narrandes
  • A man has been sentenced to an effective 25 years in jail for killing a woman and her daughter.
  • Shane Steven Boucher pleaded guilty to a theft charge and two counts of murder.
  • He claimed he drank alcohol with one of the victims before killing them.

A man, who claimed load shedding led him on a stabbing spree which killed two family friends, was sentenced to an effective 25 years in jail.

Shane Steven Boucher, 38, pleaded guilty in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg to killing Rita Westfahl, 76, and her daughter Carol Lesley Westfahl, 58.

During his plea, he told the court he first drank three quarts of beer at his home in Thornville before going to Oribi to visit his friend.

“Since his friend was not at home, he stopped over at the Westfahls’ home. There, he and Rita drank some beers together. When he was too drunk to travel, Rita asked him to stay over until the next day,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara.

She added that Boucher had known the women for 15 years, as they lived near his mother’s house in Oribi, Pietermaritzburg.

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“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 [human] presence behind him. Without checking who it was, he drew the knife from his belt and stabbed Rita twice in the neck.

She said:

He then panicked and decided to run away. On his way to fetch his bag, he bumped into Carol. Fearing that she might identify him, he also decided to kill her by stabbing her.

Ramkisson-Kara said according to Boucher, since it was dark and he had no transport, he fled in Rita’s car.

He drove to Durban where he lived on the beach.

Boucher was arrested at a supermarket in Bluff while buying bread.

He was spotted by a police officer who realised he was wanted by authorities.

Boucher was sentenced to 15 years for Rita’s murder, 25 years’ imprisonment for killing Carol, and five years’ imprisonment for theft. The sentences will run concurrently.