‘House of horrors’ parents to be sentenced

 

A couple who kept their five children locked up in what became known as the Springs “house of horrors” will be sentenced by the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

The couple‚ who cannot be named to protect the identity of the children‚ were found guilty of a string of charges in August.

The reign of terror against their children made headlines four years ago‚ with details of how they were burnt with blow torches‚ tied into a closet and kept handcuffed revealed when the trial got under way.

The court heard how the father had cuffed his son and pepper-sprayed him‚ dunked him in water and deprived him of food. His then 11-year-old son had‚ on occasion‚ been suspended by his hands and feet by chains from poles‚ and whipped and beaten with a knobkerrie. For these crimes the man was found guilty of attempted murder.

The court also heard chilling evidence of how he had sexually abused his daughter by touching her private parts‚ performing oral sex on her and trying to penetrate her. For this he was found guilty of rape.

The man was also convicted of dealing and being in possession of drugs‚ and defeating the ends of justice. The only charge on which he was found not guilty was being in possession of explosives.

The woman‚ who had kept her children’s trauma secret‚ was found guilty of defeating and obstructing the ends of justice‚ and possession of drugs.

She was found not guilty of the attempted murder of their son and child abuse‚ but was convicted on five counts of child neglect.

In a lengthy judgment‚ Judge Eben Jordaan detailed how the children were not properly fed‚ had no friends‚ did not attend school and lived in filthy‚ rat-infested conditions.

The horror was initially revealed when the 11-year-old boy escaped from their home and alerted neighbours.

Naledi Shange— TimesLIVE

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