Cape paedophile released on bail

2011-05-17 19:15

Cape Town - Convicted paedophile Ian Appleton was released on R20 000 bail on Tuesday pending the outcome of his appeal to the Western Cape High Court against his five-year jail sentence for raping a 7-year-old boy.

The 72-year-old accountant and retired schoolmaster appeared in the Paarl Regional Court.

The courtroom was packed to capacity by members of anti-child abuse organisations, including the parents of the victim.

On the day that he was found guilty last month, magistrate Norma Smile increased his R1 000 bail to R10 000, but doubled the amount on Tuesday to R20 000.

She described as "pathetic" the R1 000 bail granted by the magistrate's court.

That bail lapsed on Appleton's conviction last month, and defence attorney John Riley had to launch a second application, pending the outcome of Appleton's appeal.

Obnoxious

Anti-child-abuse supporters listened as prosecutor Rialda Jacobs' opposed the second application.

There were gasps and snide remarks from the gallery when Smile ruled that there were circumstances to justify Appleton's release on bail for the second time.

Angry people stormed out of the court room, and a police official had to restore order.

At one stage, Riley complained, calling "the behaviour of the audience obnoxious".

Smile said she understood the feelings of the community and of the public in court, but that she had to be objective in her ruling.

Warning

When the prosecutor said that Appleton could afford much more than R10 000 bail, the magistrate responded: "If R10 000 means nothing to him, the amount must be increased."

Smile said the bail had to be increased, "to ensure that Appleton is not tempted to abscond".

Riley said Appleton had not expected a second increase in the bail amount and Smile allowed him until the close of business on Friday to pay.

Smile said Appleton would be under strict house arrest as a bail condition, and that he would be allowed to leave his Sea Point home only to attend church or to visit a medical practitioner.

She warned that he was not even allowed to go shopping for groceries, and that he would have to find someone to do so for him.

- SAPA

Read more on:    child abuse
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