'Springs monster' denied leave to appeal, claims sentence is 'excessive'

2019-01-21 14:26
The ‘Springs monster’ is seen in the gallery during his trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Deaan Vivier)

The ‘Springs monster’ is seen in the gallery during his trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Deaan Vivier)

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The man known as the "Springs monster" on Monday failed in his bid to apply for leave to appeal his 35-year effective prison sentence, Netwerk24 reported.

The man, whose name is being withheld to protect his children, was found guilty by Judge Eben Jordaan of the severe abuse of his five children, the rape of his eldest daughter, drug possession and obstruction of justice in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in October 2018, News24 reported.

The collective sentences of the man add up to 67 years. These include 10 years each for attempted murder and rape, as well as five sentences of five years each for child neglect and child abuse. The sentences will run concurrently for an effective 35 years.

The man was arrested on May 23, 2014, after his son, then 11, ran to a neighbour for help following a severe beating.

At his house in Springs on the East Rand, police discovered that the man and his wife had been severely abusing their children, including hanging the boy by his feet from the rafters and burning him with a blowtorch. 

Lighter sentence

According to Netwerk24, the man said that Jordaan did not consider the fact that he was a first offender.

In addition, the man reportedly felt that he should be eligible for a lighter sentence since he had been the victim of severe abuse as a child.

Jordaan dismissed the application, reportedly saying that no other court would come to a different conclusion, given the severity of the abuse suffered at the hands of the man.

During the trial last year, forensic psychologist Bronwynn Stollarz testified that the man had no insight into the severity of his deeds, lacked remorse and blamed others, including his children, for the violence and sexual assault he had been convicted of inflicting on them, News24 reported.

A former SA Police Service forensic psychologist, Stollarz testified that she had interviewed many perpetrators of violence throughout her career and said she had never come across a person with "less insight into his deeds or the consequences thereof".

In an affidavit submitted to the court, the boy, now 15, said he hated everything about his father.

"He never loved me. I wish I could get another surname because I want nothing to do with him. I don't want to be his son," the boy said.

"I know now that I did the right thing that night [by alerting the neighbour] because I helped my sisters and brother. Sometimes, I think if I hadn't done it, he would have killed me.

"I hope they hit him every day in jail. I hate him."

The man's ex-wife was convicted of five counts of child neglect, drug possession, obstruction of justice and defeating the ends of justice.

She received a suspended sentence of five years on certain conditions, such as undergoing psychological counselling.

The judge took into account that the woman was, like the children, a victim and had suffered serious abuse at the hands of her husband.

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