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NPA welcomes sentence handed to WC woman who beat boy (3) to death

Maria Fortuin has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for murdering a three-year-old boy after he soiled himself in November 2017.

Picture: SAPS

CAPE TOWN - A 22-year-old Robertson woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for murdering a three-year-old boy.

Maria Fortuin was sentenced in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday after she entered into a plea and sentencing agreement with the State.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has welcomed the sentence, saying violent crimes against defenceless children are becoming all too common in the Western Cape.

In a plea and sentencing agreement, Fortuin admitted to beating Matthew Smith to death after he soiled himself in November 2017.

She confessed that she lost her temper with the little boy because he frequently soiled himself and failed to get to the toilet in time.

Fortuin says that Child Care South Africa had placed the child in safe care with her mother, who was not home on the day she assaulted the three-year-old.

The young woman was unable to tell the court how many times she had hit and kicked the child but explained how she beat him on his head and body, even after he had fallen to the ground.

Fortuin says after the boy began speaking incoherently, she pushed him in his pram to a local clinic where he died.

The court declared Fortuin unfit to possess a firearm and ordered that her name be entered into the National Child Protection Register.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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