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JOHANNESBURG - The High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court has sentenced a father who abused and murdered his four-year-old son to 16 years imprisonment.

Jimmy Boesak, 35, was on Tuesday found guilty of assault to cause grievous bodily harm, common assault and the murder of his son Vee-Jen Caleb Ouman  on 31 August 2017.

"The court considers the magnitude of the crimes and the interest of society," Judge Thami Makhanya said while handing down Boesak's sentence.

During the trial Boesak admitted to punching the Ouman in the stomach, using a belt and a hair brush to beat him and burning him with a match. 

"The crimes the accused is guilty of are undoubtedly serious. What aggravates the crime is that the victim was a child. The court has a duty to protect children. He was clearly an easy target."

State prosecutor Rolene Bester managed to prove that Boesak also used a broom stick handle to hit Ouman, smashed his head against the wall and that it was in fact a cigarette that he had burnt the child with.

Judge Makhanya said that child abuse by parents was a syndrome or a disease that had no cure, and that fathers were expected naturally to protect their children and not abuse them.

Boesak claimed that he abused the four-year-old because he suspected that he was involved in sexual activities with other children and boys despite Ouman denying it.

"It seems that the accused [Boesak] was obsessed with suspicion that the deceased [Ouman] was involved in sexual activities with other boys, obsessed to the point where he pointed names of other participants."

A nurse confirmed that the child couldn't have participated in any sexual activities, as a four-year-old wasn't able to have an erection.

"This obsession played a role in Boesak's morals being diminished."

Boesak's four-year-old daughter testified during the trial that she had witnessed her father hitting her brother with a broom, burning him with a cigarette and hitting his head against a wall.

Judge Makhanya read that Boesak revealed during sentencing proceedings that at a young age he was molested, repeatedly by older boys, but that did not excuse his actions.

"The accused has spent one year in prison awaiting trial. This period must be taken into account."

The mother of murdered boy was present in court, as well as Boesak's other family members.

African News Agency (ANA)