Man gets 10 years for abusing toddler

A Gauteng businessman was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison for abusing his girlfriend’s toddler.

The Pretoria High Court said a fine of R100 000 – the outcome that defence Advocate Heinrich Moldenhauer had asked for – would not have been appropriate.

“[The court] takes the abuse of women and children very seriously. The crime is so serious, [so] abhorrent, that a fine would not suffice,” Judge Nico Coetzee said.

He said the 37-year-old father of two had never shown any remorse for the crime, or explained why he abused the child, known as Baby L.

The man and woman cannot be identified to protect the identity of the child, now three years old.

Last week, the 21-year-old mother was acquitted of attempted murder and child abuse. The court found she was unaware of the abuse.

The man was also acquitted on charges of attempted murder.

The child was in a coma when taken to hospital on December 30 2013.

She had a fractured hip, blood in her abdomen, bruised kidneys, a head injury that killed part of her brain as well as old and new bruises. She is in a vegetative state.

-Dominic Skelton

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