Paramedic rapists get 8 life sentences

2012-07-19 14:43
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Two men who raped two paramedics were handed eight life sentences each by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Richard Tshifhiwa Luruli, 29, and Michael Khorombi, 30, raped the two paramedics when they responded to an emergency call to help a toddler with burn wounds in Durban Deep, Roodepoort, in March 2010.

They were found guilty of robbery with aggravating circumstances, unlawful possession of a firearm, eight counts of rape, and two counts of compelling another to commit a sexual offence.

The eight life sentences for rape would run concurrently. They also received 35 years for robbery, compelling another to commit a sexual act, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

"The 35-year sentence will be served separately and will not run concurrently with the eight life sentences for rape," Judge Sherise Erica Wiener said.

The number of rape counts stemmed from various forms of sexual assault the two men had been charged with.

Their lawyer, Mohale Lebea, told the court that Luruli and Khorombi, both unemployed, had one child each. The children lived in Venda with their mothers.

Prosecutor Phumeza Fhutshane asked: "How can fathers do such horrific crimes? Their children will have better lives with their mothers and relatives, not with them."

The two also have previous convictions. In 2007 Luruli was convicted of robbery and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Khorombi was convicted of theft, housebreaking, and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in 2004.

Fhutshane said the burnt toddler was robbed of the last help she could have received that night. She said one of the victims, identified only as "Miss T" had told her how her daughter had become detached from her since the crime. She was served with divorce papers soon after the rape.

"The second victim, Miss R, says she and her husband are still struggling to cope and move on."
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