GEORGE NEWS - The man (34) accused of nearly severing a 2-year-old boy's penis in December 2017, was sentenced to 10 years direct imprisonment in the Thembalethu Regional Court on Tuesday 30 April.
The accused, whose name is withheld to protect the child's identity, was in a relationship with the child's mother at the time of the incident. The mother, who was sleeping in the same room, woke up when she heard her child screaming. A blood-stained pair of scissors was found at the scene of the crime and the accused, who fled on foot, was arrested shortly afterwards.
The child was transported to the Red Cross Children's Hospital where an emergency operation was performed in order to save his life. Unfortunately a part of his penis had to be removed.
In a strong closing argument, state prosecutor Karin Barnard again stressed the seriousness of the incident. "The accused, who joined a prison gang after his arrest, is charged with assault to cause grievous bodily harm to a minor child. The child was not merely spanked a little too hard, he was mutilated by his mother's boyfriend. He could have died," she said.
"The accused removed the sleeping child's pants and underwear. He consciously took a pair of scissors and without any reason, cut the child's penis."
The state denied that the accused showed any remorse and could also not find any exceptional circumstances to lessen the sentence. He did not give any reason for his actions, but admitted to using medication and tik.
During sentencing the court couldn't find any substantial and compelling evidence to deviate from the minimum sentence. After his arrest in 2017 the accused also joined a prison gang.
Magistrate Pumela Yono said that joining a gang in prison after already committing a violent crime showed what kind of a person the accused is. "You took a pair of scissors and cut the child's penis - clearly there is something wrong with you. You were supposed to protect the child, be a father figure to him, but instead you put him in danger," she said.
According to Yono the only reason the accused pleaded guilty was because he had no other choice. "You had your back to the wall. You couldn't say it was in self-defense. You didn't plead guilty out of remorse, you pleaded guilty because you had no choice."
The child has been removed from his mother's care by the court since the incident. George Herald approached the emotional mother after sentencing, but she did not want to give any comment.