Two men were sentenced to life in jail in the Western Cape High Court on Friday for fatally assaulting Stellenbosch University graduate Carl Schoombie in 2015

Judge Robert Henney found that Brent Henry, 40 and Juane Jacobs, 37, had not shown any remorse or taken responsibility for their actions. They had had ample opportunity to think about what they were doing but had instead continued to assault someone who did not fight back.

The men appeared emotionless as they were led back down to the holding cells.

In November 2015, Henry and Jacobs followed the Uber taxi that Schoombie and his three friends were travelling home in after a night out. They blocked the taxi in a cul-de-sac to target Schoombie, accusing him of starting trouble at the Tiger Tiger nightclub in Claremont.

The court found there was no basis for the accusation.

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“Although not planned or premeditated, their conduct was brazen and revolting and would have produced a sense of shock in any normal human being,” said Henney.

He felt that Schoombie’s friends, who were with him that night, would never forget the “brutal, callous, cowardly and dastardly” attack.

His last moments, in which he was kicked and beaten, must have been full of pain and suffering. “It was almost like torture.”

Brain injury

A pathologist who examined Schoombie’s body said he had a brain injury usually only seen in people killed in car accidents.

Schoombie was admitted to hospital in a coma and died a few days later.

The court found the men’s personal circumstances were not substantial and compelling enough to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment for the murder.

Henry was a first-time offender, a father of three schoolgoing children and had a record of steady employment.

Jacobs was married, had previous convictions, financially supported his three children and played an active role in their lives. His lawyer had argued that he should be considered a first-time offender because his previous convictions were a long time ago. He had also argued that his HIV status was a mitigating factor.

The court found it was not a mitigating factor because, while life-threatening, it was not fatal and could successfully be treated with medication.

Henney said Schoombie would have been a great asset to society.

“The Schoombie family will take a long time to recover from the loss of their loved one, if ever.”