Man handed life sentences for raping elderly men

Aron Hyman Reporter
The rapist preyed on vulnerable men. Stock photo.
The rapist preyed on vulnerable men. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/sondem

A 22-year-old man who targeted and raped elderly men in and around the Western Cape town of Suurbraak has been handed two life sentences.

Hennury Cloete, a resident of Suurbraak, was found guilty on three counts of rape, two counts of housebreaking with intent to rape, common assault and resisting arrest.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Cloete was sentenced last week to two life sentences for the counts of rape, two-and-a-half years' imprisonment for the two counts of housebreaking with intent to rape, six months for common assault, and two years for resisting arrest.

Ntabazalila said state prosecutor Tertius van der Merwe told the court that Cloete broke into the house of a 60-year-old mentally disabled man in Suurbraak and raped him on two separate occasions.

At the time of the incidents in April 2015 and November 2016 the victim lived alone in a house without electricity.

Due to the lack of lighting in his house, the victim had difficulty identifying Cloete after the first incident and was only able to identify him after the second incident.

Ntabazalila said the state also requested that the department of social development ensure care and protection of the victim, considering his age and cognitive vulnerabilities.

Cloete also raped a 62-year-old man in August 2018 in the nearby town of Barrydale. When the police tried to apprehend him he resisted but officers managed to take him into custody.

“Van der Merwe argued that there were no material or compelling circumstances for the court to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentences,” said Ntabazalila.

“He further argued that the prevalence of sexual offences being committed against vulnerable people must be dealt with harshly by the courts.

“The NPA welcomed the sentence and recognised the partnership between the state and the Worcester family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit as it was bearing fruit after successful arrests and prosecutions.”

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