Dewani Murder: 'Trigger Man' Jailed For Life

Dewani Murder: 'Trigger Man' Jailed For Life

A South African man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Swedish woman Anni Dewani on her honeymoon.

Xolile Mngeni, 25, was convicted by a court in Cape Town of firing the shot that killed the 28-year-old woman in 2010.

Judge Robert Henney called the shooter "a merciless and evil person" who deserved the maximum punishment for his crime.

"He had no regard to her right to freedom, dignity, and totally disregarded and showed no respect to her right to life by brutally killing her with utter disdain," Judge Henney said.

Mngeni, who had surgery to remove a brain tumour while facing trial, maintained his innocence.

Two of the men accused of being his accomplices are already serving lengthy prison sentences after entering into plea bargains.

Zola Tongo and Mziwamadoda Qwabe both implicated Mngeni and said they had been hired by Mrs Dewani's British husband, Shrien, to kill his wife.

A motive has never been clearly explained for why Dewani, a businessman from Bristol, would want his new bride killed.

He has denied he hired anyone to kill his wife and was allowed by authorities to leave South Africa for the UK, where he was later arrested.

He is currently being treated in a secure mental health hospital for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In March, a High Court ruled that it would be "unjust and oppressive" to extradite Dewani to South Africa, as his mental condition had worsened since his arrest.

Mrs Dewani was shot when a taxi the couple were travelling in was hijacked in Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town.

Prosecutors said Mngeni, Qwabe and Tongo were paid 15,000 rand (£1,066) for the killing.

Mngeni's left palm print was found on the car in which Mrs Dewani's body was recovered, the court heard during his trial.

Her watch, bracelet and mobile phone were also discovered in Mngeni's friend's shack.