‘Sarel du Toit betrayed his family'

Judge Mohamed Ismail today sentenced du Toit to life behind bars for the rape & murder of his niece.

Jasmin Pretorius’s mother, Sasha Bam, hugging her dad, Colin Bam, after judgment was handed down in the High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

PRETORIA - The Pretoria High Court judge who sentenced Sarel du Toit to life behind bars says the 25-year-old betrayed his family when he raped and killed his young niece Jasmin Pretorius.

Du Toit hid the f our-year-old's body under his bed in a Brakpan flat in December 2013 after suffocating her.

WATCH: Justice for Jasmin Pretorius

Judge Mohamed Ismail says du Toit's actions were 'evil' and insisted a life sentence will be appropriate.

"You were the victim's uncle. The deceased's mother testified how fond the deceased was of you and how she trusted you. You betrayed her trust and violated her dignity. Ultimately, you robbed her of her life."

#JasminPretorius Judge: You hid the body while people were searching for the girl.

He says there were no compelling circumstances to convince him that du Toit deserved a lenient sentence.

"I am aware of the fact that in sentencing you, there would be ramifications regarding your future. At the same time, your actions impacted on the victim's family as well."

#JasminPretorius Judge: It's one of the worst rape cases I unfortunately had to preside over.

#JasminPretorius Ismail: Children are trusting the elders. It is a question of an adult taking advantage. This was brutal.

The family say they are pleased with the sentence although nothing will ever bring Jasmin back.

DU TOIT'S PLEA QUESTIONED

The High Court in Pretoria has questioned whether convicted child rapist and killer pleaded guilty due to sincere remorse, or whether he realised he was caught out by the State .

Ismail says he took into consideration that du Toit's intellectual capacity is not on par with that of his 25-year-old peers.

But Ismail found his intellect was not compelling grounds for a lenient sentence.

"The court should not out of sheer sympathy for you impose a lesser sentence."

In handing down sentence, Ismail also focused on the severe pain suffered by Jasmin when she was raped by du Toit.

He slammed du Toit for betraying his family and using Jasmin's vulnerability against her.

DETAILS OF THE MURDER

Earlier this week, a pathologist told the court during aggravation of sentence that Jasmin had several bruises on her face, which confirms the confession by du Toit.

The pathologist said Jasmin was repeatedly raped and that she must have woken up from the excruciating pain.

Du Toit said he had a few drinks before the crime and that he raped his niece on purpose.

"Jasmin was asleep when I started touching her. I raped her. She woke up. I suffocated her. I didn't want her to make a noise," he told the court.

The post-mortem report also confirmed that du Toit strangled her with his hands.

The doctor compared the child's pain during the murder to that of an adult woman who was giving birth.