Convicted rapist and murderer Mortimer Saunders. Picture: Noor Slamdien/African News Agency/ANA

Cape Town - Sentencing proceedings against convicted rapist and murderer Mortimer Saunders are expected to get under way at the Western Cape High Court.

Saunders was found guilty of the rape and murder of three-year-old Courtney Pieters, who went missing from her Pluto Street home in Salberau, Elsies River, on May 14 last year.

Judge Babalwa Mantame said the State had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that Saunders premeditated the child's murder before raping her.

A nine-day resident and neighbourhood watch search ended grimly when Courtney's decomposing body was found on a rubbish heap in Bofors Circle, Epping Industria.

When reading out her judgment last month, Judge Mantame described Saunders’ crimes as “lewd and selfish” and the “most vicious, vile, ruthless and evil murder the court has ever seen”.

Cape Times