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Court to rule on child sex offender’s ‘shocking’ sentence

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The Western Cape High Court will on Friday rule in the NPA’s appeal against the suspended sentence handed down to a child sex offender found guilty of 2130 charges.

Andre Petrus Retief pleaded guilty to the charges in the Parow Regional Court in 2015. He was sentenced to eight years in jail, wholly suspended for five years. This was on condition that he not again be found guilty of contravening certain sections of the Films and Publications Act.

The sentence was “shockingly inappropriate and light”, Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila previously said.

“The sentence must be replaced with one of direct imprisonment or direct imprisonment which is partially suspended.”

His victims included children aged six, eight, and nine. They were sexually assaulted while they were asleep.

Retief was found in possession of a vast number of child abuse images he had collected over 10 years.

“He used a cellphone, a video camera and camera to create the child abuse material. He not only abused children of his friends and neighbours, he also video-recorded school girls in supermarkets,” Ntabazalila said.

The State did not believe there were any circumstances in Retief’s case to justify a deviation from the prescribed minimum sentence of 10 years for the production of child pornography.

In its court papers, the NPA said the regional magistrate had accepted the offences were committed because of Retief’s “addiction”.

“This is an aggravating factor. It shows the possibility or likelihood of the further commission of such offences in the future if there is no sentence ensuring real intervention.”

[Source: News24]
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