Man gets life sentence for raping & impregnating stepdaughter

2017-06-08 13:39
The man who raped and impregnated his stepdaughter has been convicted and given life in prison.

The man who raped and impregnated his stepdaughter has been convicted and given life in prison. (File)

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High court judges of appeal have confirmed a sentence of life imprisonment imposed on a Pietermaritzburg man who repeatedly raped his teenage stepdaughter until she eventually fell pregnant and gave birth to a child.

The victim was 15 years old when she gave birth to the baby, according to court papers.

The man’s name cannot be published in order to protect the identity of his stepdaughter.

He had appealed only against the life sentence imposed on him.

His legal aid advocate, Zina Anastasiou, submitted that bearing in mind that the man was 51 years old when he was convicted and sentenced in February last year, he would be 76 years old by the time he qualifies to be considered for parole.

The law stipulates that if a person is jailed for life they must serve 25 years before they can qualify for parole.

She submitted that a sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment would be a just sentence in the circumstances of the case.

But in a written reserved judgment handed down in the Pietermaritzburg high court KZN Judge President Achmat Jappie and Acting Judge Liz Law found that justice would not be served if the sentence was reduced having regard to the aggravating factors in the case.

While the man’s advanced age was a factor to be considered it could not be said to be so shockingly inappropriate that interference was warranted, said the judges.

If the suggested sentence of 20 years were substituted for the life sentence he could become eligible for parole after serving half that sentence, the appeal court said.

“While there is no guarantee in either case that parole will actually be granted, given the circumstances of the case I do not think justice would be served if the appellant’s sentence were reduced to 20 years,” Law said.

The appeal court said the man was liable for a life sentence on two grounds. These were that the victim was under the age of 16 years old and she was raped multiple times.

The evidence revealed that the man had a relationship with the child’s mother and lived with her, and her siblings. The victim referred to him as her “father”.

During 2005 to 2007 when the girl was between 12 and 15 years old her stepfather had raped her numerous times. She told the court that hardly a month passed without him raping her.

Her stepfather threatened that if she told her mother what was happening he would kill them both. This was why she did not disclose to anyone what was happening to her.

She eventually fell pregnant with the man’s child and gave birth to the baby when she was 15 years old. After she fell pregnant her stepfather stopped raping her but told her not to inform anybody that he was the father.

He told her to say that the father was one of the “next door neighbour’s boys”, which she did. However, the person the teenager named as the father disputed paternity and eventually she named her stepfather and revealed what had happened.

A DNA test had confirmed that he was the baby’s father.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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