Durban - Detectives involved in a case whereby a man was convicted and sentenced in Pietermaritzburg for raping his teenage stepdaughter were lauded by the Kwazulu-Natal provincial police commissioner on Sunday.

“This conviction will send a strong message to those criminals who targeted vulnerable children who cannot defend themselves,” said the commissioner Lt-Gen Mmamonnye Ngobeni in a statement.

“We are very pleased that the courts share our view that these incidents deserve to be dealt with in the harshest of terms,” she said.

The stepfather, aged 48, was sentenced in the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court on Friday to 36 years imprisonment for raping the girl, aged 15.

The teenager was repeatly raped by the man between February and April of 2011, who threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

The girl, did eventually tell her neighbours and a case was opened with the police. - Sapa