A man was sentenced to 20 years in a hell-hole jail yesterday for the horrific murder and desecration of an American heiress.
Guatemalan billionaire playboy, Diego Novella, 44, strangled and smashed the skull of Gabriela Alban after reportedly downing a cocktail of drugs in 2015.
Novella – born into one of Guatemala’s richest families – killed his long-term lover Alban, 39, in a crime so ferocious it shocked detectives.
Her blood soaked body was found by traumatised room service staff at a £1000-a-night boutique hotel for the stars at a seaside resort in South Africa.
A court heard how after murdering Alban he spent hours performing vile acts on her body, including defecating on her face and shoving sweets and chocolates down her throat.
He left a note on her body saying “cerote”, which means “piece of s***” in Spanish.
Defence lawyer William Booth told Western Cape High Court in Cape Town Novella was suffering from diminished responsibility due to drugs.
Booth said the cocktail of cannabis, cannabis oil and over-the-counter drug sceletium had caused Novella to have a “psychotic episode”.
He claimed Alban appeared as a “demon” to Novella, similar to the character of Regan in the 1973 horror film in The Exorcist.
Novella admitted killing Alban but denied murder, blaming the mind bending mixture of drugs.
Novella claimed she encouraged him to take the drugs.
Divorcee Alban had split up with Novella over his drug use when they were students at university, but they reunited after her divorce.
Yesterday after sentence he was handcuffed and led down the steps from the dock to face 17 more years in jail.
Kabrins said his goal was to set up a legacy in his daughter’s name that would help abused women and teach men to respect and care for women.