The so-called Springs monster sits in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria. File picture: Zelda Venter

Pretoria - The man known as the Springs Monster was on Thursday found guilty of the attempted murder of his son, child abuse and neglect, as well as using and dealing drugs. 

The boy was 11 years old at the time of the crime.

The father, who faced 22 charges, was also found guilty of the rape of his then 16-year-old daughter.

The mother who faced 20 charges, was found guilty of child neglect and not guilty of child abuse. The court found that she was an abused and battered woman. The mother's bail has been extended and the father has been kept in custody.

The couple's five children were rescued in 2014 when they were aged between three and 16.

They were found in a so-called house of horrors after the police raided the family's double-storey house in Springs when the neighbours contacted them. This was after the couple’s then 11-year-old son ran to the neighbours for help as his father had severely beaten him.

The police and social services uncovered what they called “a filthy nest” with rats “as big as puppies” running around the house. It was claimed that the mother, who was dressed in skimpy clothes when the police got there, often used drugs given to her by her husband and that she did not lift a finger when her husband abused the children.

The timid-looking mother claimed that she too, was a victim of her abusive husband and that she was helpless to defend her children against him. 

She said that she was terrified of her bulky and aggressive husband and that she had no choice but to do as he said.

The children are in a place of safety and neither of the parents have seen them since their arrest.

The wife of the man named the 'Springs Monster' at an earlier court appearance. File picture: ANA/Archives

The husband last year closed his case and declined to testify or call witnesses in his defence.

Earlier his advocate indicated that if he was convicted, she will request a pre-sentencing report to, among others, set out the circumstances under which he grew up. The State, on the other hand, said it will present victim impact reports regarding the children to the court.

It was agreed that in case of a conviction, that sentencing proceedings will commence in the first week of October.

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