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City dad guilty of horrific child abuse

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IN ONE of the most shocking cases of child abuse in Kimberley, a 33-year-old city father has pleaded guilty to assaulting his three-month-old son, resulting in the child being mentally disabled, as well as twice raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter, leaving her pregnant.

The State is expected to present final pre-sentencing arguments in the case today after the Phutanang man was found guilty of two charges of rape and one of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm (assault GBH) following the crimes he committed against his son and stepdaughter.

The father was arrested in March last year, on charges of rape, after pregnancy tests positively confirmed that his then 11-year-old stepdaughter was pregnant, after he raped her twice in 2015.

She underwent an abortion shortly afterwards.

The child was raped on two separate occasions. Her stepfather would come into her room, pull down her panties and force himself on her. This happened while he was living with the girl’s mother, his wife.

According to the mother, he apparently threatened to kill the girl if she told anyone about the rapes.

A charge of assault GBH was later added to the charge sheet, after it was found that the man had also assaulted his son when he was only three months old, apparently by pelting him with bricks in 2012.

The baby sustained two intracranial injuries and had to undergo open brain surgery, whereafter he contracted meningitis, leaving the now five-year-old boy mentally disabled.

The father’s legal representative, JC Bergh, yesterday presented mitigating factors in sentencing to the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court.

Bergh stated that his client had not intended to assault his son and that he had pelted his wife with “matchbox-size” stones following an argument, when the baby was hit.

A doctor, however, testified this week that the extent of the head injuries that the baby sustained was more consistent with being hit with a brick, than with a “matchbox-sized” stone. The doctor further testified that the baby sustained injuries on both sides of his head, meaning he must have been hit twice.

Bergh further asked the court to find substantial and compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence, by presenting the fact that his client had pleaded guilty and showed remorse (by admitting that, as a result of the assault, his child would not function and develop normally).

The State is expected to deliver its final evidence to the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court today, when the pre-sentencing procedures are expected to continue.