Friday, September 9, 2011

You are an Evil Person, Mr. McBride.


"You are an evil person, Mr McBride," a Pretoria magistrate told Robert McBride on Thursday when he sentenced him to an effective five years in prison.

"Even you are not above the law," regional Magistrate Peet Johnson told the former head of Ekurhuleni metro police.

McBride, 48, stood erect in the dock and looked the magistrate in the eyes during his sentencing.

At times the tension showed when McBride swallowed hard.

Johnson sentenced him to two years in prison on a charge of drunken driving and to five years on a charge of obstructing justice, two of which were suspended.

McBride's driver's licence was also suspended for 18 months.

His bail of R1 000 was extended after the court granted him leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence.
End-of-year party
The sentence arose from an accident caused by McBride on December 21 2006 in his government vehicle, a Chevrolet Lumina, on the R511 road near Hartebeespoort Dam. He was on his way back from an end-of-year party.

Johnson told McBride, "You drove extremely dangerously and recklessly, with total contempt for other road users.

"The community has the right to expect a high degree of responsibility and integrity from the head of Ekurhuleni Metro Police.

"You are, after all, paid with taxpayer' money."

It is shocking that McBride's subordinates threatened people on the scene of the accident with firearms, Johnson said. "Residents of the country deserve better."

He added that McBride has an exaggerated good view of himself, whereas he is a domineering, aggressive and intolerable leader rather than a credible and respected mediator.
Johnson said the accused portrayed himself to a parole officer as someone who cannot tolerate corruption.

Yet he abused his position in attempts to hide the fact that he had been driving under the influence of alcohol.

Johnson was also upset because according to the parole officer’s report McBride expressed the opinion that community service that includes manual labour is humiliating.

According to the report the accused also refused to attend any rehabilitation programmes.
"If you had been honest from the outset, Mr McBride, then you would not be in this mess now. The case would have been long forgotten," the magistrate said in closing.

Advocate Guido Penzhorn SC, for the defence, applied for leave to appeal after the sentencing. He listed 76 reasons why the defence believed that another court would disagree with Johnson.

Johnson said that while he was not convinced that another court would reach a different finding from his, some points were open to argument.

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