A man from the Western Cape has been sentenced to 15 years of direct imprisonment in the Plettenberg Bay Regional Court after he attempted to rape his nephew.
The 40-year-old man from Kranshoek, who was his 10-year-old nephew’s godfather, attempted to rape the child in his sister’s (the boy’s mother's) house on September 28, 2022.
The man cannot be named to protect the identity of the child to avoid exposing him to secondary victimisation.
The court heard that he attempted to sexually penetrate the child.
In his plea and sentencing agreement with the State, the uncle said he had smoked methamphetamine (tik) on the day. While he was in his sister’s room, he lowered his nephew’s pants and his own pants and attempted to penetrate the boy but was unable to do so as the child started crying.
The child’s mother arrived and caught him in the act. The uncle ran away but was later arrested.
He told the court that although he had smoked tik before, he had control over his actions, could distinguish between right and wrong, and could act with such distinction.
He further stated that he knew his actions were unlawful and that he could be convicted and punished for conducting himself in such a matter.
State Prosecutor JJ Marx argued that it was in the interest of the community that perpetrators of such crimes be prosecuted and appropriately punished.
Marx submitted that a clear message needs to be sent to the community that perpetrators can expect heavy sentences if such offences are committed.
He further argued that sexual offences committed against children are regarded as particularly heinous, and the fact that the accused is a relative, a person in a position of trust.
“He did not use protection when he attempted to rape the complainant, thereby exposing him to the risk of potentially contracting a sexually transmittable disease. He only stopped his attempt to rape the victim when the victim’s mother caught him in the act,” Marx argued.
The court further heard that the uncle was not a first-time offender, and his criminal record revealed two previous convictions for sexual offences.
He already served a long prison term, which yielded no rehabilitation. He was also given a suspended sentence for a sexual assault, which was imposed on November 5, 2018.
The court sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment with five years suspended for five years on condition he is not convicted of crimes of rape or attempted rape committed during the period of suspension.
The court also ordered his name entered into the National Register of Sex Offenders and declared him unfit to possess a firearm.