Man jailed for 15 years for rape of 91-year-old

2013-02-27 00:00

A 23-YEAR-OLD Taylor’s Halt man was jailed effectively for 15 years yesterday for housebreaking, robbery and rape of a 91-year-old victim.

The incident occurred in the Taylor’s Halt district on the night of February 17.

Barefoot, with a scruffy appearance, Sanele Latha confessed in a statement read to the court by his legal aid lawyer, Nitesh Binessarie, that he had gained entry to the victim’s house by removing one of the windows.

“Once inside I came into contact with the complainant. I then produced a knife which I used to threaten the complainant,” he said.

Latha said he demanded money and started searching the house.

“I found an amount of R250 under her pillow which I retained for myself.”

He said he pulled down the victim’s skirt, forced her to lie on the bed and raped her.

“I admit that my actions were wrongful, unlawful and intentional. I am truly remorseful for my actions and beg the court’s mercy when imposing sentence.”

Regional court magistrate Jaco Jordaan sentenced Latha to 15 years’ imprisonment for the break-in and robbery and a further 15 years’ imprisonment for rape. He ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

He also recommended that Latha must not be considered for parole until he has served two thirds of his sentence.

Prosecutor Sipho Thwala said the number of rapes of elderly citizens in the country was disturbing and courts should send a message that such outrageous offences would not be tolerated.

When sentencing Latha, Jordaan said he took into account in his favour that he was young and that by deciding to plead guilty, he had spared the elderly victim the trauma of having to come to court to testify against him.

Jordaan said the aggravating features included the victim’s age. He said the premeditated act of housebreaking was another aggravating factor.

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