‘Monster wrapped in candy floss’: Melvin Volkwyn jailed for the murder of toddler Orderick Lucas
The last battle of late State prosecutor Mornay Julius in the Western Cape High Court has secured a successful conviction and 20-year jail sentence for a child killer.
Prosecutor Mornay Julius’ absence was felt on Tuesday in the Western Cape High Court when acting judge Nolundi Nyati handed a 20-year prison sentence to hairdresser Melvin Volkwyn (40).
The court found that Volkwyn had murdered two-year-old Orderick Lucas in 2017 and dumped his body in a stormwater drain in the Eersterivier suburb of Kleinvlei outside Cape Town. Children playing soccer in the street discovered the child’s decomposed body.
The sentence was handed down after advocate Julius had tied together all the strands of the trial – a compelling summing-up that secured a conviction against Volkwyn on 25 August.
Julius died on 31 July after losing his battle with Covid-19. His death came not long after he had closed the State’s case against Volkwyn.
Orderick was last seen in the company of Volkwyn on 25 March 2019, but the hairdresser denied killing the toddler. He said that he had been looking after the child and had handed him back to his mother, Davedine, after which the boy went missing.
Despite Orderick’s disappearance, nobody reported him missing. Days later, on 28 March, his mother went to the Kleinvlei police station.
On 2 April, a group of children playing soccer in the street discovered Orderick’s decomposed body in a stormwater drain.
The court concluded that the State had proved its case and that Volkwyn had indeed killed the child and dumped his body in the drain.
The post mortem showed the child had ulcers on his penis, a rash on his buttocks and a fractured arm.
Volkwyn consistently denied killing the boy. Appearing in the Western Cape High Court on 12 April, Volkwyn said: “I did not murder Orderick and I did not put him in a drain. I would never hurt Orderick because I loved him very much.”
During the trial, the court heard a harrowing story of abuse and neglect of Orderick at the hands of his drug-addicted mother, Davedine.
One of those incidents came to light in December 2018 when Orderick’s mother took him to hospital. It was found that his arm had been broken. His mother could not explain the injury.
An investigation by social worker Mariel Bester resulted in Orderick and his two siblings being placed in the care of Davedine’s parents, Cornelia and David Scheepers, in January 2019.
Though it was forbidden by the court, the children spent weekends with their mother instead of with their grandparents.
On Sunday, 24 March 2019, Davedine visited a friend and had asked Volkwyn to look after Orderick. That was the last time she saw him alive.
Advocate Julius told the court: “Considering all the evidence, it is highly improbable and not true that the accused gave the deceased back to Davedine.
‘The only logical conclusion is that he did something to the deceased which caused him to die and hid the body of the deceased in a stormwater drain.”
During the trial, the accused wept in the dock. But in sentencing, the judge found that Volkwyn’s emotional outburst was no indication that he was remorseful.
Handing down sentencing, the judge said there was a distinction between regret and remorse, and that the court had found the accused untruthful.
“While the family of the deceased was looking for the deceased, the accused at no stage disclosed to the family where Orderick was,” the judge said, describing Volkwyn’s conduct as that of a “monster wrapped in candy floss”.
Judge Nyati also emphasised that it takes a community to raise a child, people needed to be proactive in protecting children, assisting social workers and notifying authorities when children were not taken care of.
Acting Director of Public Prosecutions in the Western Cape, advocate Nicolette Bell, welcomed the sentence: “This was one of the last matters that Julius litigated before his untimely passing.
“In this case, he ensured justice for Orderick, his grandparents, his siblings and that of the community. His hard work and dedication to serving the community is echoed in this matter.” DM/MC