SENTENCE FOR SEXUAL INTERCOURSE WITH CHILD

S v SHELDON-LAKEY 2016 (2) SACR 632 (NWM)

 

Sexual offences — Sexual intercourse with boy child under age of 16 years — Contravention of s 15(1) of Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 — Sentence — Thirty-nine-year-old married woman in educator – learner relationship with boy whom she was supposed to be counselling — Sexual intercourse occurring on more than one occasion — Sentence of four years’ imprisonment confirmed on appeal.

 

The appellant had been employed as a temporary educator at a school and was convicted in a regional magistrates’ court on a charge of having committed an act of consensual sexual penetration with a boy child under the age of 16 years to whom she had offered counselling sessions at the school. She was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. On appeal it was contended on her behalf that the court a quo had erred inter alia in rejecting the probation officer’s recommendation that she be sentenced to correctional supervision. The court on appeal rejected, on the evidence, her defence relating to knowledge of the age of the boy and proceeded to consider the merits of the appeal against sentence.

Held, that, while due weight had to be given to the appellant’s personal circumstances, the offence she had committed remained a serious one. Right-thinking members of society expected adults to protect children and not to abuse them. The exploitation of emotionally immature children and the risks of sexually transmitted diseases were cause for serious concern.

Held, further, that in the present instance the offence pertained to an instance of consensual intercourse between a 39-year-old married woman and a schoolboy under the age of 16. The fact that the appellant was in a educator – learner relationship with the boy aggravated the matter, which was compounded further by the fact that the sexual encounters occurred more than once, even after the appellant received the victim’s birth certificate. The offence was committed by a person who also clearly knew what the law and the Scripture had to say about morality.

Held, further, that the correctional-supervision sentence suggested by the probation officer and by the appellant’s counsel would be wholly inappropriate in the circumstances of the case. The sentence imposed had to clearly indicate that sexual intercourse by an adult with a child would not be tolerated. In the circumstances the appeal was dismissed in its entirety.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s