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‘Old statement only link to crime’

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The post-mortem results showed that Bloukop was assaulted and suffered multiple injuries after her death

Nico Boom might be facing imprisonment should he be found guilty for a rape and murder which occurred nearly five years ago. Picture: Soraya Crowie

A CAMPBELL man, who was only a teenager when he signed an admission that he raped and murdered a woman, is facing possible imprisonment if he is found guilty of the crime that occurred more than five years ago.

Nico Boom, who is now 20 years old, is facing charges for the rape and murder of Monica Bloukop in 2013.

The Northern Cape High Court heard yesterday that Bloukop was last seen alive on February 9 2013 and her body was discovered on February 11 2013 in a veld some distance away from her home.

The State, represented by advocate Adele van Heerden, alleges that Boom, along with three other suspects, raped and killed Bloukop and then left her body in the veld. The charges against the three other suspects were withdrawn.

The post-mortem results showed that Bloukop was assaulted and suffered multiple injuries after her death.

Dr Aiden Surtie, who conducted the post-mortem on the deceased on February 14 2013, said there were various cuts and incisions to the neck and private parts as well as a bite mark on the deceased.

“There were premortal and after death abrasions and wounds. That can be an indication of continuation of assault to the deceased after death. There was also a bite mark to the arm of the deceased. Vaginal tears and bruises were also found at the opening of the vagina which was caused premortally. There was also tears to the anus. The cause of death was multiple incisions and cuts to the neck with a sharp object,” said Surtie.

Surtie said that although it is suspected that Bloukop was raped, no DNA in the form of semen was found on the deceased. He, however, said there was a possibility that the deceased may have been raped with a foreign object as there was bruising to the private area.

Surtie added that because the body was only found a few days after the incident, parts of it were in a decomposed state.

Van Heerden conceded that Boom could not have been solely responsible for the incident but he pointed out that the accused had, however, signed an admission wherein he admitted to raping the deceased anally and slitting her throat afterwards.

“Nobody saw the accused committing the crime and there is no DNA found by forensics linking him to the crime. However, there is a statement the accused made in which he admitted being part of the incident,” said Van Heerden.

“In the statement he said he and three other people found the deceased at home. He said they then carried the deceased by her hands and feet to an abandoned house at the back of her house. The deceased then screamed and one of the people put a cloth in her mouth. The accused said they then took off her clothes, which they burnt, where after they took turns in raping her.

“The accused stated that he held the deceased down as the other three persons raped her vaginally and he was the last person to rape her anally. He said he then slit her throat. The accused also said he had a knife with him which he used to slit the throat of the deceased.”

Van Heerden said the evidence provided by the State was sufficient to link the accused to the crime.

“It is highly improbable that the accused was the only person who committed the crime, judging from the distance the body was carried. The case against the other three suspects can, however, be reopened. In fact, the three other persons were suspected of the crime and the matter was withdrawn as the case docket went missing. The evidence of the statement made by the accused and that of the post-mortem are in agreement about what transpired on the day,” said van Heerden.

She added that the fact that Boom had decided not to testify left it up to the court to decide what role the rest of the suspects played.

“It is only the accused, the deceased and the other persons involved who know exactly what happened that day. The deceased cannot testify and the accused decided to use his right to remain silent.”

Boom’s attorney, advocate Japie Schreuder, pointed out that the only evidence linking his client to the crime was the statement he had made as a teenager five years ago. He asked the court to find his client not guilty on the charges.

“The only evidence linking the accused to the crime is his statement. There is, however, no indication on who is responsible for the incident. The question the court is also faced with is what happened to the three other suspects? The State has not done anything to bring them before court. There was testimony given by the police that the three other persons refused to give any statements but nothing was done to bring them in to testify in the matter,” said Schreuder.

He said that Boom’s statement was also taken when he was of a young age.

“The accused was young when he made the statement to the police. In the statement he said that he laid the deceased on her stomach and raped her anally. He said after he ejaculated in her, he then got up. However, the doctor said there was no DNA in the form of semen found on the deceased. That is also an aspect the court has to consider.”

Schreuder also pointed out that there is evidence to indicate that other parties were also involved in the incident.

“It is not the accused’s fault that the docket was lost. There are indications that other parties were involved who have knowledge about the incident. There was nothing done to bring these persons to court. The only evidence before court is the statement which was signed a few years ago. The statement has many outstanding questions and the case against the accused has not been proven beyond the benefit of doubt,” Schreuder said.

The case was postponed to Wednesday.