Convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow will apply for leave to appeal in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday.
On Wednesday, the National Prosecuting Authority confirmed he had applied for leave to appeal but could not clarify on whether he would be appealing his conviction, sentence or both.
After a week-long trial in September 2019, Ninow was found guilty of raping a seven-year-old girl in the bathroom of a Dros restaurant in Pretoria in September 2018.
While he admitted guilt to rape, defeating the ends of justice and possession of an illegal substance, the State rejected his guilty plea, stating his version contradicted its evidence.
When convicting him, Judge Mokhine Mosopa rejected Ninow’s version that he was in the bathroom first, doing drugs, when the victim entered and asked to urinate.
He found Ninow had stalked his victim, followed her into the bathroom and then raped her, making his actions premeditated and not impulsive as he had said in his plea explanation.
“The only reasonable inference the court can draw is that the accused saw the victim playing in the play area, saw her going to the bathroom, followed her and then undressed and raped her,” said Judge Mosopa.
In October 2019, the court sentenced Ninow to life in prison for the rape, for defeating the ends of justice he got five years and for the possession of an illegal substance he was given an additional five years.
The sentences ran concurrently with the life sentence.
Judge Mosopa also ordered that Ninow’s details be added to the sexual offenders’ register.
In handing down sentencing, he found Ninow had made no compelling submissions to deviate from the minimum prescribed sentence for rape.
Judge Mosopa explained he had blamed his drug usage for his actions, but continued taking drugs while in prison awaiting trial, adding Ninow also failed to show he was truly remorseful.
He said that while Ninow had written a poem for the victim and a letter to the family, they never reached their intended recipients and was only brought up in sentencing proceedings.
“To me that is not remorse but that the accused is aware he is facing a hefty imprisonment term.”
In considering Ninow’s age as a mitigating factor, Judge Mosopa looked at how the crime was committed.
“The accused raped a very young defenceless child. The accused, after he was caught, flushed the underwear of the complainant down the toilet.
“The viciousness of the way the offence was committed rules out that the accused was immature.”