18-year-old free after being charged with Brits woman’s murder

Esbé Koster

He was accused of helping a school friend to kidnap and murder Esbe Koster, a secretary at the Rabboni Christian School in Brits in 2016. Both boys were pupils at the school at the time of the murder.
His 19-year-old friend is currently serving a 25-year sentence after admitting guilt to the charges. He testified that the younger boy had been a willing participant in their plan.
However, the 18-year-old boy insisted he had no idea they were going to hijack Koster, let alone kill her.
He said it was his friend who had forced Koster at gunpoint to drive to a deserted spot where he shot her twice in the head before driving off with her car. He said he had kept quiet about the incident because he was afraid of the older boy, who had bullied him at school and had a history of misbehaviour from a young age.
He also believed everything would be over if he kept quiet as he had only one subject left to write, after which his family would move to another town.
Well-known clinical psychologist Prof Gerard Labuschagne testified the younger boy’s failure to run away or tell his parents after seeing his friend murder Koster, did not necessarily mean he was a willing participant in the murder.
Acting Judge J Hattingh found the younger boy’s version, that he was scared of his friend and did not disclose the incident because he feared for his life and that of his family, was a plausible explanation for his conduct.
He said the boy did not take anything, which was hardly the conduct of a co-conspirator who wanted to share in the spoils of the crime. Although he tried to tie up Koster, he did it so badly that she could free herself.
The judge rejected the self-confessed killer’s evidence that his younger friend had agreed to take Koster’s car, saying his evidence was riddled with contradictions.
He found that the state had not proved the younger boy’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and acquitted him on all charges.
(Source: Citizen)

Also see: Pupil admits he wanted to kill Brits school secretary

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