No reprieve for child rapist



Two judges of the High Court confirmed the conviction of child rapist Elton Jossop and struck his appeal against his conviction from the court roll in a unanimous decision last week.

Judge Christi Liebenberg with Judge Naomi Shivute concurring established there were no prospects of success that another court may come to a different conclusion than the court that tried him.
Jossop was convicted in the Keetmanshoop Regional Court on a charge of rape under the Combating of Rape Act and sentenced to 19 years in prison.

He was found guilty of violating a four-year-old girl.
According to evidence led in the main trial, Jossop was sleeping in the same room as that of the victim and her mother.

When the mother got up to answer the call of nature he violated the little girl.
It was further established by the trial court the victim’s cries for help were heard by her mother and another state witness who was sleeping in an adjacent room.

While the judges refused condonation for the late filing of the appeal – more than six months after the finalisation of the trial – they endeavoured to give him a chance to present his grounds of appeal.
The judges found that the trial court was very comprehensive in its judgment and could not be faulted.

“The trial court comprehensively discussed and considered the contradictions in the evidence of the witnesses and correctly found that not every discrepancy serves to nullify the evidence of a witness,” Liebenberg wrote.
He further stated: “Having found the state witnesses to be credible, the court rejected the appellant’s explanation as being false.”

According to Jossop he only lifted the child up in order to remove a jacket from under a cushion.
But, the judges said, evidence was produced the child was injured and that a medical examination later proved that penetration took place.

He further said that the child’s own evidence, supported by the use of anatomically correct dolls, on how the accused positioned himself above her and his actions as well as the mother’s evidence that she observed the victim walking clearly in pain the next day left no doubt the child was violated.

In the end, Liebenberg stated, the only conclusion to be reached was that the decision reached by the trial court was based on proven facts and he was thus unable to fault the trial court.
In the event, he said, since there were no prospects of success on appeal the application for condonation was refused and the appeal was struck from the roll.


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