Home News State calls for the harshest sentence for double rapist

State calls for the harshest sentence for double rapist

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Smith was implicated in both crimes by separate sets of forensic evidence. He also has a previous rape conviction

GUILTY: Mervyn Smith appeared in the Northern Cape High Court after he pleaded guilty to two rape charges. He will be sentenced today. Picture: Soraya Crowie

THE STATE has motivated for the court to hand down the harshest sentence possible for rape accused Mervyn Smith, 28, who was linked to the rape of two women through DNA results.

The crimes took place in Club 2000 in Galeshewe in 2015 and 2017, where the accused was not known to either of the complainants.

Smith was implicated in both crimes by separate sets of forensic evidence. He also has a previous rape conviction.

The first complainant was robbed of her cell phone, threatened with a knife and raped in July 2015.

She was forced to undress at knifepoint whereupon two men took her to the back of her yard, and raped her after laying a jacket on the ground.

She was unable to identify the perpetrators as they were wearing balaclavas.

In the second incident Smith accompanied the complainant to her home from a tavern during the early hours of September 3 2017, on the pretence that he would protect her from two other men, after he chased them away when they attempted to rape her.

She was assaulted and threatened with a panga, and dragged into the bush where she was raped.

Her cell phone was also stolen.

During pre-sentencing procedures in the Northern Cape High Court before acting Judge Venter, Smith’s legal representative from Legal Aid South Africa, Advocate Dries van Tonder, yesterday said that the accused was employed at Trevenna supermarket prior to his arrest.

“He was prepared to plead guilty to the charges and accept responsibility for his actions. While the minimum sentence is applicable, his personal circumstances should be taken into account.”

State prosecutor Catherine Jansen pointed out that the accused had no other option but to plead guilty after he was positively linked to the crimes through DNA samples and deserved to be handed a sentence of life imprisonment.

“He should be registered as a third time offender on the national register for sexual offenders. He never apologised to his victims for the serious crimes committed against them.”

She added that the complainants were left vulnerable by their socio-economic circumstances.

“The one complainant had no access to transport and was forced to walk home during the early hours of the morning.

“The accused took advantage of her when she walked home. She placed her trust in him when he promised that he would protect her from the other two men who tried to rape her.”

She indicated that while the injuries inflicted were not that serious, the emotional trauma had left indelible scars.

“The first complainant was administered with pain pills and anti-retroviral drugs but did not receive any further medical treatment. She received counseling at the Thuthuzela care centre for the psychological impact it (the rape) had caused. She also had a friend who went through a similar experience who helped her to overcome the trauma.”

Jansen added that the second complainant eventually left Kimberley in the hope of escaping the trauma of her ordeal.

“She did not wish to testify or attend court proceedings as she did not wish to expose herself to more trauma. Her friend burst into tears when she was questioned last week about the negative impact it (the rape) had on the life of the complainant.”

She added that the Northern Cape was well known as the rape capital of the country.

The matter was postponed for sentencing.