A 25-year-old man who murdered his own baby daughter has been sentenced to just 13 years in jail.
Earlier this year the Western Cape High Court convicted Eugene Plaatjies, from Montagu, of murder, child abuse and neglect, and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Acting Judge Nolita Kose yesterday said the accused had shown no remorse, and had maintained throughout the trial that his daughter had fallen off the bed and hit a bench.
His tiny daughter, three-month-old Anthonique, died at Red Cross Children’s Hospital a day after she was admitted on June 13, 2014.
During the trial, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy testified that the infant had suffered multiple bruises and fractures, severe head injuries, a laceration of the liver, fractures of the ribs and a contusion of the lung.
The baby had both fresh and old fractures and had been “chronically abused”.
The pathologist said the baby’s skull had been broken, and would have been caused by banging her head against the wall or kicking her in the head.
Little 30-year-old mother, Louise Alkaster, pleaded guilty to child neglect and was sentenced to a five-year suspended sentence at the start of the trial.
She testified about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Plaatjies.
Judge Kose said Plaatjies “deprived his own child of her right to life and protection”.
“It is shocking to everyone that she was abused and murdered by her biological father,” she said.
Kose also ordered that his name be added to the National Child Register and that he never be allowed to work with children.
Plaatjies had a blank expression throughout sentencing.
A small group of his family members were at court to support him, but refused to comment to media.