Rooi had invaded the privacy of both women when he broke into their homes and raped them
A PRIESKA man was sentenced to life imprisonment, as well as a further 27 years, after being found guilty on three counts of rape, two counts of housebreaking with the to intent to rape and a charge of obstructing a police officer from performing his duties. The sentences will run concurrently.
Saun Rooi, 25, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape of the 10-year-old sister of his former girlfriend and mother of his child in November 2017.
According to earlier testimony of Rooi’s former girlfriend, the 10-year-old girl was playing in the yard with Rooi’s child when she came inside crying, stating that she had been raped by Rooi at his house, which was nearby.
Acting Judge Alme Stanton said during her judgment that she viewed the rape of the 10-year-old child as the most serious charge.
“Rape is a humiliating and invading offence which has a negative effect on the victim. The right to equality is one of the cornerstones of our constitutional rights. I cannot imagine the humiliation and pain this minor child went through,” said Stanton.
Rooi was sentenced to 10 years each for the rape of a 55-year-old woman and the rape of a 40-year-old woman.
The two incidents happened on April 1, 2017 and the following day, on April 2. Both women were attacked in their homes in Plakkerskamp, Prieska.
Stanton said Rooi had invaded the privacy of both women when he broke into their homes and raped them.
“The accused raped both women in the safety of their homes. The dignity of the women was trampled. The consequences of such an incident is usually very traumatic to the victim.
“The testimony of the 55-year-old woman was that she was woken up by someone touching her. She tried to turn around but the intruder pressed her down and took off her underwear after which he penetrated her from behind. The forensic results positively linked the accused to the incident.”
Stanton said she could not find any compelling and substantial circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.
“The aggravating circumstances outweigh the personal circumstances of the accused. The State has argued that the accused showed no remorse. I have to agree with that remark and until today the accused has stood by his version that he was innocent, regardless of the overwhelming DNA evidence against him.”
Stanton said that Rooi’s age could also not be viewed as a compelling circumstance.
“The defence has argued that the accused was only 24 years old at the time the offences were committed. That is relatively young. Although the accused is not a first offender, this is the first time he has been convicted for rape. The accused has previous convictions for housebreaking to commit theft as well as previous convictions for assault.
“The State has stated that the accused was old enough at the time to realise his actions. The State said the accused is a father and was working at the time and therefore he cannot be treated as a child.”
She said that although the sentence imposed could not rectify the offences, it should deter possible future offenders.
“Rape is a very serious offence and no imposed court sentence can undo the offence committed. Society looks to the courts for protection from such offenders. Communities need to see that the court takes their safety and freedom into consideration. The re-occurrence of such offences needs to be curbed and sentences by courts need to deter possible future offenders,” Stanton said.