Baby Sam’s father to appeal sentence

Adriaan Netto and his partner have consistently denied involvement in their daughter’s death.

Adriaan Netto back in court. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Convicted child abuser Adriaan Netto says he plans to appeal Wednesday's decision by the South Gauteng High Court to sentence him to 18 years in jail for his role in his daughter's death.

Netto's 34-year old partner was also sentenced to 18 years in prison for her role in the crime.

The pair were convicted last month during a high court sitting in the Protea Magistrate's Court.

They were found guilty of rape, child abuse and culpable homicide after their 10-month-old baby, Samantha, died from extensive external and internal injuries in March last year.

Both parents have consistently denied responsibility for the crimes, saying they never spotted any of the injuries.

But the court found that Baby Samantha died in a painful and undignified way.

The court also found the infant was sexually abused with a large object and had bruises on her private parts and face.

Speaking after court proceedings, Netto said the new Sexual Offences Act is unfair.

"They have funny laws out there, do yourself a favour and read it. It wasn't right because there's still no evidence."

'NO REMORSE'

Women and Men Against Child Abuse say Netto and his partner showed no remorse and should have been given a harsher sentence.

The organisation's Tania Otto said the couple are simply upset they've been caught.

"There's a difference between regret and remorse. They regret that they've been caught and they now have to face the music, but I have not seen any remorse from these two. I have heard sniffing, but I've seen no tears."

Judge Majeke Mabesele also described the couple as "cold and remorseless".

He said the parents' background could not be used as an excuse for the crime they committed.

OTHER CHILDREN

Mabesele said although the court had a duty to impose the harshest sentence, he had to consider the couple's two other children.

He said the children must be afforded the opportunity to be guided through life by their parents after they have been rehabilitated by serving their prison sentences.

Mabesele sentenced the couple to 18 years in prison to show other parents that it's unacceptable to torture one's own child.

The children, aged six months and two years, will be raised by other family members.

At this stage, it's not clear if the 34-year-old mother, who cannot be named to protect her other children, will also appeal the sentence.