Dros rapist has history of mental illness, his defence argues

Nicholas Ninow’s defence appears to be relying heavily on what has been described as a history of mental health problems.

Dros rape-accused Nicholas Ninow appeared in court this morning for his third bail hearing, walking into court with his hoodie on.

Court was adjourned following the postponement of the matter until November 28 and the accused has been allocated a bed at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria.

This followed recommendations from state prosecutor Sanet Jacobson who said that, in the interest of justice, Ninow should be sent to Weskoppies for psychiatric evaluation.

According to his lawyer, Ninow had a history of a mental illness and had been using drugs since he was 14 years old. The defence added that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2013 and had spent time in rehab for substance abuse.

The alleged rapist had attempted suicide several times due to depression caused by the bipolar disorder, said his defence.

The defence asked for an additional psychiatrist and psychologist to assess the accused, which was granted by the courts. Ninow will now be assessed by four different psychiatric experts.

In September, Ninow was arrested for the alleged rape of a seven-year-old girl in the restroom of a popular restaurant in Pretoria on a Saturday.

According to a witness who wished to remain anonymous, Ninow was “stalking his prey” while she was playing in the children’s area of Dros restaurant in Silverton.

The witness claimed he was sitting alone in the smoking section where he asked for a glass of water, claiming he was waiting for a friend.

Shortly afterwards, he reportedly moved nearer to the restaurant’s play area and started watching the girl, who was on her own.

READ MORE: Shocking details behind Dros rape revealed

Moments later, the child went to the bathroom and was followed by a man believed to be Ninow, the witness said.

“He allegedly snatched her from the female restroom, blocked her mouth, and took her to the men’s restroom where he raped her.”

The child’s mother, who was apparently a regular at the Dros, noticed that her child had disappeared.

“We asked the child-minder where the child was and she said she had gone to the toilet. Her mother went to the restroom but did not find her child. She heard a noise in the men’s restroom and was suspicious.

READ MORE: Family of Dros rape victim express their gratitude for donations

“She tried to open the door but it was blocked,” said the witness.

The mother caused a commotion and the alleged rapist eventually opened the door.

“He was completely naked and so was the child,” the witness said. “The child was bleeding from the groin.

“When some of the male customers saw this, they started assaulting the man.

“One of the managers locked the restroom door to protect the guy from mob justice. The child was rescued and police were called.

“There was a trail of blood in the restroom.”

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