Couple admit to abuse of sporty child

2014-04-24 00:00

HER achievements on the sports field do not matter any more — all they want is to be able to hold and hug their daughter, said the mother and stepfather of a 10-year-old girl after they were yesterday found guilty of child abuse in the Bloemfontein regional court.

In their plea agreement, the parents admitted they had from January 2010 to November 2012 punished the girl, who attended a primary school in Bloemfontein, whenever she did not want to compete in swimming galas or practise for competitions.

The mother (39), who admitted to spanking the girl in the bathroom when she did not want to swim, said all she wanted to do now was to hold her girl in her arms.

“[Sport] achievements don’t matter any more. Just to hold her is the most important,” said the couple.

Regional court magistrate Jan Greyvenstein yesterday sentenced the couple to a year’s correctional supervision on a charge of child abuse. They must also each do 192 hours of community service. A year’s imprisonment or a fine of R6 000 was suspended for five years.

The stepfather (31) said they had admitted guilt because they wanted to see their child and not wait another six months for trial proceedings.

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