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CAPE TOWN – Emotions ran high outside the Western Cape High Court when convicted child murderer Melvin Volkwyn’s sister and niece were allegedly assaulted while sentencing proceedings got under way on Tuesday.
Supporting her brother at court, Beaulynne Volkwyn, 32, said she was verbally assaulted by a member of a Stratford Greens neighbourhood watch during the tea break and was shaken by the incident.
The matter was brought on record after the tea break when prosecution and defence were informed about it.
Volkwyn, who had been convicted of the murder of baby Orderick Lucas on August 25, was emotional when he learnt of the assault and mouthed an apology to his sister before crying inconsolably in the dock.
Volkwyn’s legal aid attorney Susan Kuun, placing the matter on record after a tea adjournment, said: “During cases like these, the emotions are running very high and people are emotional. What happened was that the sister of (Volkwyn) was assaulted by some of the community members. She was physically beaten on the head and there is a lot of sadness about the disrespect for the court procedures.”
State prosecutor Robin Lewis echoed Kuun’s sentiments adding that the actions were reprimanded and that a repeat of such an act would result in him having to ask the gallery not to be present during court proceedings.
According to Beaulynne, she and her cousin heard part of a conversation and interjected while standing a few metres away from the neighbourhood watch members.
“She asked me why I was (interrupting) and making a ‘vis kafee van haar bek’ (chiming in). I told her she can’t talk so rudely to me and she asked me who I was and I said I am Melvin’s sister,” Beaulynne said.
The confrontation had turned physical when the woman allegedly said Melvin would be sexually assaulted while in prison and continued swearing at her and then had allegedly tugged at the niece and started assaulting the two on the court stairs.
“I feel very bad about what happened,” Beaulynne said, before crying.
The neighbourhood watch member declined to speak to the media.
Sentencing proceedings had concluded after both parties argued in mitigation and aggravation of sentencing.
Volkwyn faces a prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.