Rapist ruined my daughter's soul‚ mother tells court
“What he did to her will be in her soul forever.”
So said the mother of an eight-year-old girl who was raped two years ago by Bluff resident Wayne Parkes‚ who then used the images to create child pornography.
“I wish to never see his face again… She doesn’t know how to live or who to trust anymore‚” the mother said in a victim impact statement handed in during sentencing proceedings before magistrate Karen Moopenar in the regional court in Durban on Friday.
Earlier this year‚ the magistrate convicted Parkes‚ 47‚ of two counts of rape and 3‚288 counts of creating and possessing child pornography related to images of children performing sexual acts with adults and other children. These were found on his computer.
The child‚ who lived in the neighbourhood‚ is believed to feature in some of the images.
His arrest two years ago was as a result of a “track and trace” investigation. The case is being closely monitored by the United States Department of Homeland Security‚ which tipped off the South African authorities.
In argument on sentencing‚ prosecutor Jerome Gnanapragas said the internet - and specific pornography sites - were constantly monitored by government enforcement agencies around the world.
“Viewing child pornography is not easy… you have to know the codes. When someone logs onto those sites and downloads images their IP addresses are flagged and then their internet activity is monitored. The overseas agency then alerts the authorities in the country of origin and warrants are obtained and arrests are made‚” he said.
It was only through “quick and efficient” police action that they identified the rape victim in some of the images on Parkes’ computer and phone‚ Gnanapragas aid.
The girl was traced to the Eastern Cape and brought to KwaZulu-Natal to testify.
It was only then that Parkes realised the game was up and he made certain admissions‚ which led to his conviction on all charges.
“There was insurmountable evidence against him‚” Gnanapragas said. “He must be removed from society permanently… there are so many dangers to young children out there.
“If this case is not a case that warrants life imprisonment‚ then what is?”
Parkes was arrested in 2016 along with two other men who are still to stand trial.
Initially he denied all charges and challenged the admissibility of evidence obtained from a search and seizure of two cell phones and a SIM card.
However‚ arguing for leniency‚ defence attorney Mzo Tengwa claimed his client had co-operated with the police. Through his admissions‚ which led to the rape victim not having to testify‚ he had shortened the trial.
“We know these are very serious charges and society is not happy … but he has become a reborn Christian. He is ashamed and takes full responsibility for what he did. He hopes the family of the victim will accept his apology.
“He just wants to be given a second chance.”
In an interview with a social worker‚ Parkes said he had been sexually abused several times as a child and as a teenager.
He said he had begun using the Mxit instant messaging application at the age of 13 and had met many people through the site.
“We later began to exchange pornographic pictures. To my surprise‚ the people in the photographs just kept getting young and younger until they were of minor children‚” he said.
The social worker said Parkes had told her that he enjoyed looking at these photographs‚ so he began finding them himself and downloading them.
Parkes will be sentenced later this month and the magistrate will also rule on whether he will be listed on the sexual offenders register.