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Cape Town - A father who brazenly raped his own daughter, aged 11 at the time, whilst she lay asleep on the same bed as him and her mother, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Parow Sexual Offences Court on Thursday.

The girl may not be identified, which means that her father, 33, may not be named either.

The father faced two charges involving the rape of his own daughter, and was found guilty on both.

Both counts were regarded as one, for the purpose of sentence.

The father appeared before Magistrate Mandy van Leefe, who said there were no circumstances that justified a deviation from the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment, for the rape of a pre-puberty child by her own father.

Van Leefe said the rape of a child, by her own father, was regarded by the courts as one of the worst type of sexual offences, involving a father “deflowering” his own pre-teen daughter.

Prosecutor Yolanda Pretorius called for a sentence of life imprisonment, on both charges, but treated as one for the purposes of sentence.

The two incidents happened between the year from January 2015 to January 2016, when the girl was aged between 11 and 12.

Van Leefe said the first rape happened whilst the child lay asleep on the same bed with her mother and father, whilst the mother was inebriated.

The magistrate said the mother awoke to find the father on top of their daughter.

The mother fled from the room to report the incident to the daughter’s paternal grandfather, who was in the house at the time, but the grandfather ignored her because she was inebriated.

Because nothing happened about the first incident, the father raped the girl a second time.

The magistrate said the rapes stopped after the girl informed a neighbour of what was going on.

The neighbour alerted the police, who removed the girl from her parents.

As it happened, the parents managed to disappear, but were tracked down and arrested as they prepared to disappear for a second time.