Man, 77, convicted of granddaughter’s rape has sentence reduced due to old age

2019-07-19 15:45
(PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES)

(PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES)

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The sentence of a 77-year-old man convicted for the rape of his 11-year-old granddaughter has been reduced due to his age.

According to IOL news the grandfather whose name cannot be revealed to protect the identity of his underage granddaughter, approached the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in a bid to appeal his 20 year sentence.

He argued in court that the sentence for a man his age was "cruel and inhumane” .

In reducing his sentence, Acting Judge CL Moosa took his old age into consideration and found that because the grandfather is of old age a twenty-year sentence would be excessive. Although that is the prescribed punishment for the crime, they were compelled to lessen his sentence to 15 years of imprisonment after the magistrate ordered that the old man serve 15 years for rape and thereafter serve an additional five years for child abuse.

Legal expert and Senior lecturer at UCT’s Public Law Department Kelly Phelps says that Act 105 of 1997 section 51 and 53 allowed for  the reduction of imprisonment sentences if the circumstances are indeed mitigating.

"The judgment is appropriate as imprisonment for a rape offense should not be less than 15 years and unfortunately in this case the old man’s age played a pivotal role as the sentencing of a 20-year-old and an 80-year-old don’t have the same outcome" she said.

When announcing the final verdict for the old man and aware of the bitter taste it will leave in the mouths of the public the judge quoted words from a Supreme High court judge “The object of sentencing is not to satisfy public opinion but to serve the public interest. A sentencing policy that caters predominantly or exclusively for public opinion is inherently flawed”, reported IOL.

And with those words the 77-year-old old man’s appeal against his 20-year sentence for the rape of his 11-year-old daughter was reduced and his old was his advantage.

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