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Swellendam man sentenced to 20 years for rape

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Published Jul 17, 2023


Cape Town - A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for the rape of a 55-year-old woman, by the Swellendam Regional Court.

Jerry Damons’ name was also ordered by the court to be entered into the National Register for Sex Offenders.

The State alleged and proved that on February 24, 2021, Damons lured the 55-year-old woman to a bushy area under the pretence that her child was in the bushes.

According to the State, the woman knew and trusted the accused because she was his mother’s friend and he was her son’s friend.

"He attacked her, throwing her to the ground, resulting in her sustaining serious injuries. The accused ran away afterwards, and she reported her rape to police in Barrydale, still drenched in blood from the open wounds to her head. He was arrested the following day," said Eric Ntabazalla, NPA regional spokesperson.

Prosecutor Elton Willemse asked the court to impose a life term, arguing that the legislature prescribes that a sentence of life imprisonment be imposed in circumstances where rape involves the infliction of grievous bodily harm.

"Should there be found to be substantial and compelling circumstances as envisaged to deviate from the imposition of the minimum sentence the court may do so, but not lightly and for flimsy reasons, as it should still be considered within the purport of the legislature as these prescribed minimum sentences are there for serious offences."

"Society expects our courts to hand down sentences involving lengthy terms of imprisonment for culprits of gender-based violence to serve as an effective deterrent to everyone in our communities to respect the rights of women and to protect them from harm both inside and outside of residential dwellings.

“Indeed, in this matter, the elements of retribution, deterrence, and prevention outweigh the elements of rehabilitation for the accused.

“The scales lean in favour of protecting the community against aggressive and violent culprits like the accused rather than considering his interest in being rehabilitated.

“The attack was vicious and dangerous, regarding the head wound the complainant sustained," said Willemse.

The magistrate found substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence. This follows the accused’s admission of guilt for the crime. The court sentenced him to 20 years’ imprisonment and declared him unfit to possess a firearm.