Man who stabbed wife 23 times sentenced to 26 years in jail

A man who fatally stabbed his wife 23 times has been sentenced to an effective 26 year jail term.
A man who fatally stabbed his wife 23 times has been sentenced to an effective 26 year jail term.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Monroe Clayton Lee, who stabbed his wife more than 20 times in 2016, was on Wednesday sentenced to an effective 26-year jail term by the high court in Kimberley.

Lee was on Tuesday found guilty of the murder of his wife Mitashja (Tessa) Lee, as well as on two charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

During the fatal knife attack on August 20, 2016, Lee also stabbed his one-year-old granddaughter, whom she was holding. Lee also attempted to stab his daughter, Monique, the mother of the baby.

His granddaughter was stabbed in the chest and in the cheek. Mitashja died after she was stabbed 23 times.

The Northern Cape police management on Thursday applauded the investigating officer in this case, the National Prosecuting Authority and department of justice for working together in the interest of justice.

“The sentence shall serve as a deterrent to those who want to take advantage of the vulnerability of women and children,” police spokesperson Brig Mohale Ramatseba said

On Tuesday, the Diamond Fields Advertiser reported that Lee tearfully apologised to family members present in court.

Addressing the court, Lee said it was never in his plans to murder his wife or injure any of his family members.

“Everyone knows I loved my wife and was a responsible father. I am sorry and I know it will never bring Tessa back again. I broke my family, I broke my children, I broke myself. I know Tessa will never come back no matter what I say or do. Although my children told me previously that they forgive me, I will never be able to bring their mother back,” Lee said.

The prosecutor, Theunis Barnard, had pleaded for a  harsh sentence and said there were no compelling circumstances for the court not to hand down a harsh sentence.


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