Sobs echoed inside a packed Cape High Court yesterday as a Manenberg man was found guilty of raping and killing 16-year-old Michaela Adriaanse.
Western Cape High Court Judge Yolanda Renqe concluded her two-day judgement against 36-year-old Bradley Noble.
Noble was accused of murdering Grade 9 learner Michaela by smashing a rock against her head while the teenager lay unconscious.
Minutes before, he had raped her in a secluded area on the beach.
Michaela was found dead in March last year after she was reported missing.
The teen and her friends had bunked school and went to Kalk Bay beach where they smoked dagga and drank whiskey.
Noble denied raping and killing the teen, claiming he had consensual sex with her.
He claims a “friend”, without provocation, had hit Michaela with a rock, killing her but DNA evidence linked Noble to the murder.
Yesterday, Judge Renqe dismissed Noble’s version of events as untrue and unconvincing.
“The accused was not a credible witness, his evidence was filled with discrepancies and inconsistencies and when confronted with this, he would just change his story,” she said.
“He gave the court the impression of being a dishonest witness, he contradicted himself and could not even answer simple questions – at one stage he even refused to come to court, saying people were laughing at him.”
A defiant-looking Noble stared daggers at the Judge as she went over the evidence of each witness.
Renqe asked Noble to stand, and said: “The accused killed the deceased in order to avoid being identified as the person who raped her.
“The version of the accused cannot be reasonably true, the court is therefore satisfied that the state proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
“The accused is therefore found guilty of rape and murder.”
Relatives in the public gallery wearing pink T-shirts with a collage of Michaela’s pictures, wept softly.
The teenager’s father and sister hugged each other as tears ran down their faces, saying “it’s over”.
Sean Adriaanse, 52, says the last 19 months have been hell for his family a they tried to cope with his daughter’s death and the trial.
“It was hard sitting there and listening to all the things that happened to my daughter towards the end,” he said.
“It’s not even easy looking at him. I felt like I could kill him but that would not have brought her back.
“I feel relieved and happy that he was found guilty, it will help us moving forward.”
Sentencing procedures will commence today.