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Former Perth Student Sentenced To Life Over Axe Murders

A former Perth school student has been sentenced in a South African court to life in prison for the axe murders of his parents and brother.

Henri van Breda, 23, was handed three life sentences for the grisly killings in Stellenbosch, a affluent town in South Africa.

In the early hours of January 27, 2015, he killed his parents Martin‚ 54‚ and Teresa‚ 55‚ and his older brother Rudi‚ 22, before claiming it was an intruder.

He also received a 15-year sentence for the attempted murder of his sister Marli, who suffered severe head injuries.

Judge Siraj Desai described his actions as "cold-blooded".

"These attacks display a high level of innate cruelty," Judge Desai said.

"The violence was excessive and gratuitous. It was intended to cause maximum harm."

Van Breda's lawyer Pieter Botha said there were plans to appeal, based on his client's youth and status as a first-time offender.

He also said Van Breda could not show remorse because he maintains his innocence.

Judge Desai said there was "no explanation" for what Van Breda did and that the killer had to be handed the "severest possible penalty."

The Van Breda family lived in Australia for some years before returning to South Africa.

"Your future was not bleak. In fact, it was bright," Judge Desai told Van Breda as he stood in the dock.

"You had the support of family and, more importantly, they had the means to assist you in your future endeavours, and it seems to me they would have done so."

Fairfax

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