State argues for Courtney Pieters’s killer to get life in prison

Mortimer Saunders has admitted to feeding the child ant poison, before hitting her over the head and choking her because she was annoying him.

FILE: Alleged child killer Mortimer Saunders sits in court before he pleaded guilty to murdering three-year-old Courtney Pieters. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The closing argument has been heard in the trial against the man who killed three-year-old Courtney Pieters in Elsies River.

Mortimer Saunders has admitted to feeding the child ant poison, before hitting her over the head and choking her because she was annoying him.

He was arrested shortly after the child's decomposing body was found in Epping Industrial a few days after she had been reported missing in May last year.

The State has argued that Saunders intended to kill Pieters. The prosecution is, therefore, calling for him to be convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The defence has told the court the State had failed to prove the murder was premeditated. Saunders insists it was not planned.

He has also pleaded not guilty on a charge of rape but has admitted to necrophilia.

Judgment will be delivered in a month’s time.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)