Courtney Pieters’ mother satisfied with sentence handed to daughter's killer

Mortimer Saunders has been given life in prison for raping and murdering the child last year. The sentences will run consecutively.

FILE: Convicted child killer Mortimer Saunders awaits sentencing in the Western Cape High Court. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The mother of murdered three-year-old Courtney Pieters says she's satisfied her child's killer has been handed two life sentences.

Mortimer Saunders has been given life in prison for raping and murdering the child last year. The sentences will run consecutively.

Juanita Pieters held her older daughter in her arms as the two sobbed while standing on the steps of the Western Cape High Court just minutes after sentencing was delivered.

Next to them, a group of Elsies River residents held up posters, shouting: “Justice for Courtney.”

Juanita says that while her family will now try to pick up the pieces and move on, Courtney will always be a part of them.

“We will never forget Courtney, but we can try to move on. Courtney will always be a part of us.”

In handing down sentence, Judge Babalwa Mantame said the murder was an act of brutality and callousness, and the nature of the killing shows the accused has no regard for other people.

WATCH: Saunders gets hefty jail term for Courtney Pieters murder