Baby Samantha’s parents get 18 years

Adriaan Netto and his partner were sentenced to 18 years in prison for rape, abuse and murder.

Adriaan Netto at the Protea Magistrate’s Court in Soweto. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The South Gauteng High Court has sentenced convicted child abusers, Adriaan Netto and his girlfriend to an effective 18-years in prison for the death of their 10-month-old baby referred to as 'baby Samantha'.

The pair were found guilty of rape, child abuse and culpable homicide after the infant died from severe injuries in March last year.

The accused initially faced a lifetime in prison, but Judge Majeke Mabesele says he has considered the fact that they are first-time offenders and have two other children who cannot afford to be raised without their parents.

The two were sentenced to four years for culpable homicide, three years for child abuse and 15 years for rape.

Some of the sentences will run concurrently.

After the sentence was handed down, the couple bowed their heads and showed no emotion.

Mabesele described the couple as "cold and remorseless".

The couple's other children have been put into the care of family members.

Earlier this month, Netto skipped bail a few hours before judgment could be handed down.

He was rearrested in Krugersdorp a few days later and is now facing an additional charge of absconding.

Meanwhile, the mother, who cannot be named to protect her other children, told the court her baby's death will haunt her for the rest of her life.