No, Nicholas Ninow, no.

No, Nicholas Ninow, no. I don’t believe you really wrote that poem. And like the honourable Judge, I don’t believe you are truly remorseful for your actions. Reading between the lines, it appears that you feel more sorry for yourself than your victim. I’m sorry that you had an abusive childhood. I’m sorry that you became addicted to drugs and tried to commit suicide as an adolescent.

But, there can be no justification for your behaviour, none whatsoever.

I wish you had sought professional help. I wish you had been more determined to turn your life around. Oh how I wish that you could have just walked away; out of that restaurant. Or sat there and dealt with your own demons in your drugged state. You had choices. Walking into the ladies toilets should not have been one of them. The thought of violating a vulnerable seven year old girl should never have crossed your mind.

It’s been one year and one month since your dastardly crime. But it feels like just yesterday when the news broke. I wanted to believe it was a hoax at first. I couldn’t fathom how someone could be so cruel. Then I saw the video and I was shattered. My heart cried for your victim. Forget about her forgiving you. We will never forgive you. Your actions then cannot be lessened by the words in the poem now. Your apology will not be accepted here. South African society has no place for vile men like you.

I listened attentively as your grandmother cried and pleaded with the court for leniency. Evidently, she had faith in you. But all you did was betray her; the same way you betrayed your fiancee and your now 10 month old baby. So many lives thrown in turmoil… and you blame the drugs, instead of blaming yourself.

I recall the outrage from some when your victim testified in-camera. I knew that she and the state had to take this bold step if there was any chance of you being sentenced to life. I hated you for it. I hated that you subjected her to this secondary trauma… that she had to relive the reality of what she would never have imagined, even in her nightmares. But she had to. Because you did not come clean about what really transpired. I have never believed in an eye for an eye, but I believe that no punishment can fit your crime.

You robbed a young girl of her innocence. Nothing can bring that innocence back. I write this to deal with my own feelings; with my immense anger. But how does your victim deal with the aftermath? How does she process the gravity of the situation? How does her mother try to comfort her and tell her everything will be okay when deep down she is struggling herself?

No, Nicholas Ninow, no. I don’t believe you can answer that.

(Convicted child rapist Nicholas Ninow has been sentenced to life imprisonment for rape and five years for possession of drugs. He also received another five years in prison for defeating the ends of justice. Two of the sentences will run concurrently. Ninow had been convicted for the rape of a then seven-year-old girl at a restaurant in Silverton last year. He was 20 years old at the time. Source: SABC News Online)

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