Child Rapist Smiles About 19-Year Sentence

KEETMANSHOOP resident Elton Jossop (28), convicted of raping a four-year-old girl, smiled when he was sentenced to 19 years imprisonment in the regional court yesterday.

When regional magistrate Sunsley Zisengwe handed down the sentence, Jossop welcomed it with a smile, and indicated that he would not appeal against it after his appeal rights were explained to him.

At the start of his trial, Jossop had pleaded not guilty to a charge of rape.

It was alleged that Jossop raped the girl on 30 September 2012 at a house in the Keetmanshoop’s Tseiblaagte residential area where they lived with other relatives.

He allegedly raped the girl after her mother left the sitting room where they were sleeping to visit an outside toilet. The mother told the court that she only heard the girl screaming while she was in the toilet.

Jossop denied any wrong doing when confronted by the mother later and claimed he had no idea why the girl had screamed.

Handing down the sentence, Zisengwe said although Jossop had denied the charge, evidence given during the trial proved that he had sexually abused the girl.

“The sexual attack on the young girl ought to be condemned in the gest terms. It happened right in the safety of her own home during a window period of two minutes,” Zisengwe remarked.

Zisengwe said the aggravating circumstances in the matter totally outweighed the mitigating factors.

The magistrate highlighted the following as the aggravating factors: very young age of the victim that the accused was in a position of trust that the accused regarded the victim as his own child that the accused resided in the same house with his victim, sleeping in the same room that the complainant sustained serious injuries and that the accused did not demonstrate any remorse and had used abusive language against court officials during the proceedings.

The defence counsel, Stefan Coetzee, in mitigating sentence said the accused was a first offender, uneducated, fairly useful and suffers from “tick bone fever following a tick bite in the police holding”.

Coetzee requested for the minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment, part of which should be suspended on the weight of the mitigating factors.

The State prosecutor, Pieter Smit, requested for a 20 years imprisonment, describing the crime as “horrendous”.

“Violence against women and children nowadays seems to be order of the day, therefore courts should decisively act against it in efforts to stop or curb it,” said Smit.

Source : The Namibian