Pretoria - The North Gauteng High Court threw a teenager a lifeline after he was sentenced to eight years in jail for twice raping an 8-year-old boy.
Judge Hans Fabricius ordered that the boy, who was 14 at the time he committed the crime, had to be released immediately. The judge set aside the four years’ imprisonment sentence the boy received in the lower court on each rape charge.
This is because the sentencing was not in accordance with justice and the boy was thus prejudiced by it. The Director of Public Prosecutions agreed with the judge’s sentiment.
The boy pleaded guilty to the two charges of rape and was sentenced to eight years in prison. The judge said the magistrate had been extremely accommodating towards the accused and tried to assist him in receiving proper schooling while in jail.
“Generally speaking, it could be said that this sentence was of benefit to the accused,” the judge said. The boy has served three years. As he was a minor at the time, the matter came on automatic review before the high court. The judge said it was not clear whether the boy had been legally represented, as required by the Child Justice Act.