Uncle jailed for raping, killing 10-year-old niece

2015-05-11 16:59
The Western Cape High Court in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

The Western Cape High Court in Cape Town. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - A Gugulethu man was sentenced to 35 years in jail in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, after pleading guilty to raping and killing his 10-year-old niece.

Christopher Godlo was given 20 years for raping Chelsea Godlo, half of it suspended, and 25 years for her murder, as part of a plea and sentencing agreement enforced by Judge President John Hlophe.

His brothers and co-accused, Michael and Taswell Godlo, did not enter an agreement and would appear in court for pre-trial proceedings on Friday.

Justin van Rensburg said his client Christopher, 31, was a re-born Christian, “completely contrite” and felt “very, very sorry and upset by his actions”.

Hlophe replied that he would be ashamed if he killed and raped a niece and said he did not understand the satisfaction that any man would get from having sexual intercourse with a 10-year-old girl.

In his plea, Godlo said he and his brothers planned to kill his sister, her child and their stepbrother because they had threatened to evict them from their father’s house should he die.

On August 12 last year, Chelsea, a Grade 5 pupil, returned from school and he decided to implement the plan.

“...[I] thought that as I was going to kill her, I would rape her first,” he said in his plea.

He called her into the brothers’ Wendy house on the Gugulethu property and said he wanted to have sex with her. He followed through despite her objections.

He tried to strangle her, but his girlfriend returned with his brothers and saw him on top of the girl through a window. His girlfriend hurled abuse at him for raping the girl, but he said nobody took her insults seriously.

“This could be due to her drunkenness,” he said.

While residents were looking for the girl, he said he and his brothers tried to strangle the girl in the Wendy house.

“At one stage, I left the deceased, who was still alive [then], and participated in various decoys with the community, assisting in searching for the deceased and reporting her missing to the police,” he stated.

“On my return, I discovered that the deceased was stabbed in her neck with a screwdriver and was dead.”

Post-mortem

He admitted to first hiding her body in a bag in the backyard and then stashing the bag under their father’s bed, where police found it the next day.

A post-mortem revealed the girl had died from strangulation and puncture wounds to the neck.

Aggravating factors included that the crimes were premeditated and that the victim was an innocent child who trusted him.

In mitigation, the State considered that he was addicted to Mandrax and other drugs, and consumed some of these during the crimes. However, he was still able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct.

Other mitigating factors were that he had spared the expense of a protracted trial, had a 2-year-old daughter, and had agreed to be a State witness during his brother's trial.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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