Couple sentenced to 18 years for baby’s death

2013-10-02 11:08

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The couple accused of the rape and culpable homicide of their 10-month-old baby have been sentenced to 18 years in prison by the High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court, Johannesburg.

Judge Majeke Mabesele today gave Adriaan Netto and his girlfriend each four years for culpable homicide, three for child abuse and 15 for rape.

The sentences for the culpable homicide and rape would run concurrently.

According to a postmortem, the toddler had been significantly underweight and had numerous injuries.

She had fractured ribs, abrasions on her vagina and face, bruising on her abdomen, and a lacerated lung filled with blood. Her liver was injured and her anus had been penetrated repeatedly.

Before sentencing the couple today, Mabesele said he had a duty to send out a clear message to communities and parents that violation of children’s rights would not be tolerated.

The couple sat in the dock with their heads bowed as the sentences were read out.

Mabesele said they had shown no remorse for the child’s death.

“It is evident she died a painful and undignified death at the hands of her parents. With the seriousness in nature of the crime, society will look to the courts to dish out harsh sentences. I’m mindful that reasoning should be above emotions to avoid sentencing in anger,” he said.

Mabesele said the couple had faced life sentences but he had taken into account their personal circumstances.

Although the court had a duty to impose the harshest sentence, he had to consider their two other children.

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