Woman who beheaded grandmother at her home jailed for life

A young woman who beheaded a Scottish grandmother at her home in South Africa when she was a teenager has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Sandra Malcolm, 74, was hacked to death by Sheree Prince, 22, who had broken into her Cape Town home.

Mrs Malcolm, who was originally from Monifieth, Angus, had been helping the young woman after she suffered an injury – but Prince turned on her, fearing she would call police.

Prince said Mrs Malcolm fed her tea and toast, but when she offered to call an ambulance, Prince became suspicious and stabbed her 24 times.

Prince beheaded the pensioner with a knife and cut off her arms using an axe before throwing her body into a wheelie bin.

Police arrested Prince in Citrusdal, 100 miles north of Cape Town, a few days after the grandmother’s death in April 2015.

She admitted the murder in March and has now been given a life sentence at the Western Cape High Court.

Under South African law, Prince will have to serve 25 years before she can apply for parole.

Last month it was revealed the killer had written a letter to the family of Mrs Malcolm begging for forgiveness.

The letter, which was handed to the court, read: "I thank the court for doing my case. During my time in prison I have had time to think of everything.

"I wouldn’t know who the family is, but I would like the family to please forgive me and accept my apology as time goes by."

However, Mrs Malcolm’s daughter Alison Williams, 51, told the court the letter meant nothing and called for Prince to face the harshest punishment possible.

Speaking at a pre-sentencing hearing, she said: "We cannot accept her apology.

"The whole family is asking for the highest amount of incarceration this court can hand down.

"We have not even begun grieving because of this court case. She deserves to stay behind bars where she belongs."

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She added: "My mother was a wonderful woman, she used to volunteer at a hospice and it came as no surprise that she helped Sheree because it was in her blood to help others."

Prince’s defence lawyer, advocate Leandra Adams, had appealed for her client to be shown mercy.

She said: "Since her incarceration my client has not involved herself in any altercations.

"The accused is convicted of serious crimes and she takes full responsibility for her actions. She did not in any way ever try to mislead the court."

Following the sentencing, Eric Ntabazalila, spokesman for South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority, said: "We welcome the sentence. We argued this was a premeditated murder and we showed that she intended to kill the lady.

"It was a very brutal and vicious murder and we are happy that we managed to get a sentence that talks to that."

Prince was linked to the crime scene via fingerprints, mobile phone records and stolen goods they found at her father’s house.

After her first court appearance in 2015, Prince was eventually found fit to stand trial.

Mrs Malcolm’s body was discovered by a family member after she failed to answer the door at her cottage in Lakeside, near Muizenberg, a suburb of the city.

Mrs Malcolm had lived in South Africa for 35 years and survived by two daughters, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Prince said she had left her home in Citrusdal in April 2015 because of her ‘poor relationship’ with her mother. She admitted robbing a house then took a taxi to Muizenberg.

During her stay, Prince said she was offered a job as a cleaner at an antique shop but left after kicking over a pot of stew and burning her foot.

She left with a handbag she had stolen, then on April 18 she arrived at Lakeside and climbed in through an open window, waking Mrs Malcolm.

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