Umbilo rapist’s plea falls on deaf ears

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AFP

Durban - An Umbilo man who raped and stabbed his neighbour in her flat begged for a court’s mercy before being sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment.

Wayne Adrian Rohan, 37, told the Durban Regional Court he was remorseful for his 2008 crimes. The victim, however, wanted him jailed and rehabilitated so that he could come out “a better person”.

Rohan was sentenced on Wednesday for rape, attempted murder and housebreaking with intent to steal.

He is already serving a 15-year sentence for an unrelated armed robbery, and magistrate Trevor Levitt ordered that six years of his new sentence run concurrently with the 2011 one.

In his written plea, Rohan said he had gone to a local bar on September 7, 2008, met a few friends for drinks and had left after midnight.

On his way home he had to pass the victim’s flat. “I walked past and noticed the door was open and the security gate was closed. I’m not sure why I tried to enter. Perhaps because I visit her boyfriend,” he said.

“I opened the gate and saw her lying on the bed in her underwear.”

Rohan said he became aroused, removed her underwear and started having sex with her. When she touched him, he said, she realised it was not her boyfriend and started to push him away.

He saw a knife on the side of the bed, grabbed it and started to stab her. Rohan said he did not remember where he stabbed her, but according to the charge sheet, he tried to slit her throat and strangle her.

He said she grabbed the knife from him and stabbed him on his right shoulder. He then left and went home.

Rohan admitted that the woman’s injuries were quite serious and that his actions amounted to attempted murder. He also admitted that he could have killed her.

State prosecutor, Krishen Shah, argued for Rohan to be sentenced to life.

The rape survivor was called to testify and said her boyfriend had gone to the bar to have drinks that night and when the gate opened she thought her boyfriend had returned. All the lights were off at the time.

She said she had undergone counselling for two years after having a nervous breakdown. While most of her physical scars have healed, she was stabbed on her arm and this has resulted in restricted movement in the arm, a constant reminder of what Rohan did to her, she said.

The woman said she had kept asking Rohan why he was attacking her. She could not understand, she said, how one human being could do something like this to another.

She said she had thought she was going to die and this was when she decided to fight back, but Rohan had hit her even more when she did.

She eventually played dead so he could leave, but Rohan went through the flat and stole a few things before he left.

noelene.barbeau@inl.co.za

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