Convicted rapist Nicholas Ninow arrives in the dock before testifying in mitigation of sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court. File picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA).

Pretoria - The Gauteng North High Court has sentenced convicted Dros rapist Nicholas Ninow to life behind bars for rape and five years for drug possession. 

Handing down the sentence, Judge Mokhine said he took into account the fact that Ninow is a young adult, has an infant child of his own and that there was a good chance that he could be rehabilitated. He said that Ninow had failed to prove that he was genuinely remorseful.

Mosopa said that a happy family outing became a nightmare for the victim and her family after the little girl was raped. This, he said, has had far-reaching implications for the entire family.

The judge said that Ninow's introduction to hard drugs at the age of 13 by his mother was the start of the young man's spiral into addiction. He said that Ninow had himself been a victim of physical and sexual abused as a child and appears to be a "broken person".

Earlier Judge Mosopa called a break in proceedings when a group of people appearing to be EFF supporters became disruptive when Mosopa delayed the start of the post-lunch session.

Ninow's sentencing comes after two days of testimony from Ninow, his grandmother and various experts both in mitigation and aggravation of sentencing.

The convicted rapist kicked off proceedings on Wednesday, using his testimony to detail his continued battle with drugs, remorse and request for another "chance". 

Captain Karin Botha, a forensic social worker, testified in detail about the trauma experienced by Ninow's young victim. She told the court that the young girl still had nightmares about the rape.

“I see him when I go to bed. I try not to imagine him and what he did to me,” the child reportedly said.

The court also heard from a psychologist and Ninow's grandmother. 

Ninow's sentencing comes a month was found guilty on two counts of rape, possession of drugs and defeating the ends of justice in connection with the rape of a then 7-year-old girl in the female toilets at the Dros restaurant in Silverton, Pretoria.

Ninow, 21, had previously confessed to raping the girl after she walked in on him while he was in the women’s bathroom using drugs.

He however refuted allegations of premeditation and maintains that he was high and had been using drugs for two days before the incident. 

His version was rejected by Mosopa, who said the victim, even though she was a minor when it happened and somewhat unclear of the day in question when giving her testimony initially, had managed to inform the court that he had actually found her in the toilet after relieving herself.