'Broken-hearted' Nicholas Ninow acted out of character due to alcohol and drugs: defence on appeal
The 21-year-old convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow has filed an appeal against both his sentence and conviction on March 6 2020. Ninow was sentenced to life behind bars after being found guilty of raping an eight-year-old girl at a restaurant in 2018.
In a well-executed plan, convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow preyed on a child, went to the women's bathroom and raped her.
“Rape is a process, it does not just happen. There has to be an erection, state of mind, undressing and penetrating,” state prosecutor Dora Ngobeni said in the North Gauteng High Court on Friday, as she opposed Ninow’s application for leave to appeal against his conviction and sentence.
Ninow is serving a life sentence for raping a seven-year-old girl in a Dros restaurant in Silverton, Pretoria, in September 2018. He was also sentenced to five years for drug possession and defeating the ends of justice, with the sentences running concurrently.
“It is no coincidence that he went to a female toilet. He planned it and (calculated) that if it is a child, he would be able to keep her quiet,” said Ngobeni.
“There was somebody in the toilet (area) and that person could not even hear a noise in the manner that he [Ninow] executed the plan,” she said.
Defence lawyer Herman Alberts argued that Ninow had acted out of character due to his usage of alcohol and drugs.
“He was predisposed throughout his upbringing with drugs. He was addicted. He also used it in prison and he could have kept quiet about it but he was honest with the probation officer and the court about it.”
Judge Papi Mosopa said that during the trial, Ninow admitted that while he took drugs at the time of the rape, he was aware of what he was doing.
Mosopa quoted a statement from court documents where Ninow admitted that his actions “were unlawful” and that he was “admitting an offence” at the time of the incident. “He knew what he was doing,” Mosopa said.
Alberts asked the court to take into account that Ninow is a “broken man” who showed remorse to the victim and her family.
“He is a broken individual and that should receive some recognition. He was broken throughout his childhood.
“The fact that he showed immense remorse was a strong factor in his favour.”
The judge questioned whether it was remorse or regret.
“His heart is broken and obviously he regrets it and he feels extremely sorry for what the victim and her family are going through,” Alberts said.
Mosopa responded, saying: “He failed to show remorse towards the family in the lower courts. If he wanted to do so, he could have conveyed it through his lawyer, but he failed and waited until he was convicted.”
Judgment will be delivered on March 10.