State prosecutor Rolene Bester on Friday told the South Gauteng High Court that life in prison was an appropriate sentence for the 51-year-old Randfontein man convicted of raping his two stepdaughters — the youngest was only 11 when he assaulted her.
Earlier, the defence said the accused, who can not be named to protect the identity of his stepdaughters, was not a good candidate for prison because of his age and ill health.
Bester told the court that the mitigating circumstances put forward were not adequate for such a case and life imprisonment was the appropriate sentence.
Bester told the court one of the accused’s daughters said she felt that boys would take advantage of her because of what her stepfather did to her.
“The effects of what he did will have an impact on generations to come,” Bester said.
She added one of the daughters said sexual intercourse at a young age was normal to her, and she became promiscuous because of the abuse.
Bester referred the court to other similar cases in which the culprits were adequately punished for their actions.
She said that it was the responsibility of the court to send a message to the community that such behaviour would not be accepted and that the children were robbed of their innocence.
During the trial the State called seven witnesses, one of whom was the accused’s stepdaughter. She said she was only 11 years old when he stepdad raped her.
Now 18-years-old, the accounting student told the court that she did not like her stepfather even though he provided financially for the family and made sure that their basic needs were met.
She said that her stepfather began raping her on a regular basis when she was in grade eight.
Last month, the accused was found guilty of raping and indecently assaulting his stepdaughters.
On Friday, Bester told Judge Cassim Moosa that the emotional state of one of the stepdaughter’s who was raped by the man had deteriorated since her court appearance and she had moved out of home to stay with a friend.
“He was not a 51-year-old when he committed the crimes and now the court must feel sorry for him, what about the children?” asked Bester.
She said that the court could not send a message to society that the court would be lenient on you if you were an elderly person.
Moosa said that he would carefully review the evidence of the State and the defence in order to come to an accurate sentence.
The matter was postponed to April 3, at the South Gauteng High Court. The accused’s bail was extended.
– African News Agency