“The rape was premeditated as the evidence pointed out that the accused took the complianant to a secluded area. Every crime that is premeditated constitutes a hefty sentence. The complainants in all these charges are women."
A 51-YEAR-old convicted rapist yesterday told the court that his life had been shattered by a string of criminal charges against him.
Randall Hughes was convicted on charges of rape, theft of a motor vehicle and theft . . . a total of 20 criminal acts committed on March 24, 2014 as well as on various days from April 6, 2015 to June 28, 2015.
The Kimberley Regional Court heard that Hughes modus operandi was that he would pretend to be a Good Samaritan who offered lifts to women while he was driving in a metallic gold Toyota Corolla.
He would then rob his victims of their cell phones, money and handbags which contained their personal documentation.
He was convicted of raping one of the complainants and for exposing his genitalia.
He was arrested at his house in Roodepan in June 2015.
During his arrest, police confiscated handbags, cell phones, sunglasses and identity documents which belonged to some of the complainants.
Hughes told the court during pre-sentencing procedures yesterday that the incident has put a lot of strain on himself and his family.
“I have been broken by this incident since June 2015. I am not only shattered by the allegations but also by the excessive exposure in the media. Every time I appeared in court, it not only shattered me, but also my family and my 84-year-old mother.
“My children, particularly my two sons, went through a lot during the four years I have been behind bars. There were times when my sons developed suicide tendecies due to my absence as a father-figure,” he said.
He maintained his innocence, stating that what happened to the complainants was unfortunate.
“I still harbour the belief of my innocence. I have sisters and daughters, and would not like anything like this to happen to them,” he said.
Hughes told the court that he and the complainant who laid a charge of rape against him were actally having consensual intercourse on the day.
He said that the only thing he was guilty of was not insisting that the woman go with him to buy condoms on that day.
“I left the complainant in a secluded area and drove to the garage to buy condoms. I went back to the place where I left her but she was no longer there,” he said.
He then apologised to the complainant, stating that he should have insisted on her going with him and that they had very good conversations.
The State, represented by Cecil Makwala argued that Hughes’ apology was opportunistic as he had never apologised to the complainant through his lawyer.
Makwala requested the court to impose a harsh sentence, stating that the offences were planned.
“The rape was premeditated as the evidence pointed out that the accused took the complianant to a secluded area. Every crime that is premeditated constitutes a hefty sentence. The complainants in all these charges are women.
“The items which were stolen are easily sold on the black market. Irrespective of the worth, the accused would have profited from them. Each crime was also premeditated as the accused targeted vulnerable women who were mostly alone. The accused has never shown any remorse,” said Makwala.
Hghes’ legal representative, Advocate Japie Schreuder, said the accused was a candidate for rehabilitation.
“The accused is a first offender. It seems the accused went through a period in 2015 where he stole property from people and also committed offences of a sexual nature. However, it seems none of the complainants were in danger or put at risk.
“There was never any evidence that the accused tried to harm anyone but rather that the incidents were for self-enrichment. It was merely selfish behaviour, but not to harm anyone,” said Shreuder.
He said the court should also take into account that the accused had been in custody.
“The accused had been in custody for more than four years awaiting the finalisation of his trial. A suspended sentence would be fair, however, it should not be a sentence that would break the accused,” said Schreuder.
The case was postponed for sentencing.