Albertinia child killer sentenced for murder of nine-year-old girls

Timothy Michael Ova, 53, has been jailed for life for killing two nine-year-old neighbours. File Picture: Supplied

Timothy Michael Ova, 53, has been jailed for life for killing two nine-year-old neighbours. File Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 15, 2024


The man who murdered two nine-year-old girls in Albertinia in the Western Cape has been sentenced to life imprisonment for their murders by the High Court sitting in George.

Timothy Michael Ova, 55, was convicted for the murder of Sharon Arries and Jacorien Vaaltyn.

On February 27, Ova was convicted on two counts of murder, and illegal possession of ammunition, attempting to defeat the administration of justice.

The Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila said the conviction and sentencing followed the meticulous work of Senior State advocate Lenro Badenhorst, as he pieced together the case based on circumstantial evidence.

Sharon Arries and Jacorien Vaaltyn, both nine, were murdered. File Picture: Supplied

The girls disappeared on September 21, 2022, after two people last saw hem playing in front of Ova’s yard. Their families and community immediately panicked when the girls did not return home and searches immediately began. Ova was questioned and denied that the girls visited his home.

The court heard the girls' mothers, Florina Paulse, and Maureen Vaaltyn approached Ova and asked him about their whereabouts. He denied seeing the girls, and instead, offered the worried mothers cool drink and smoked cigarettes with them while they talked about the children's disappearance. Ova even told the mothers he wished the girls were found. It was also noted he never joined in on the searches.

The girls’ sand-covered bodies were found a day later by two people in Ova’s yard in Fiskaal Street in Theronsville.

The individuals who found the bodies testified that Ova looked nervous when the topic of the missing girls was brought up, and at one point, he was shivering.

Forensic pathologist, Dr Christa Hattingh who conducted the post mortems told the court the girls were buried alive as sand was found in their mouths and nostrils. They were smothered to death by the sand.

Judge Matthew Francis found that Ova had shown no remorse and was incapable of appreciating the devastating consequences and impact of his actions on the deceased’s family and the community.

Judge Francis told Ova that society was crying out for a strong message to be sent to perpetrators of gender-based violence and the murder of children, and to would-be perpetrators of the crime.

Ova was sentenced to life imprisonment for each murder. He was further sentenced to two direct months imprisonment for illegal possession of ammunition, five months direct imprisonment for attempting to defeat the administration of justice, and six months imprisonment for indecent assault of his niece which he committed 24 years ago.

The court ordered the sentences to run concurrently, effectively sentencing him to life imprisonment.

Ova was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.

Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Nicolette Bell welcomed the sentencing and applauded the prosecution, investigating team, and community of Albertinia for the roles played in ensuring justice.

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