Photo credit: Pixabay
Photo credit: Pixabay
A child sex offender has reason to rue the day he left his cellphone at a pharmacy in Umhlali on the KwaZulu-Natal Dolphin Coast.
Staff found the phone, belonging to the man who had delivered magazines to the store, and tried to find his contact details by going through the device. Instead, they were shocked to find images and videos depicting children being sexually exploited.
Police were informed and detectives from the Provincial Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (Serial and Electronic Crimes Investigation Unit) investigated the matter and made an arrest.
Now the 44-year-old owner of the phone, Jacobus Pieter De Wet, has been sentenced to an effective 10 years imprisonment for possession of child pornography by the KwaDukuza Regional Court.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority, more than 400 images of child pornography were found on De Wet’s cellphone.
“These were inappropriate images of unknown children, ranging in age [from] three months to 16 years. Some images depicted adults engaging in sexual acts with these children,” the NPA said.
The personal details on the phone, together with CCTV footage at the store, confirmed De Wet’s identity and he was arrested by police.
The court also heard that De Wet had two previous convictions; one for sexual grooming and the other for theft.
“De Wet conceded to the court that he had a problem with child pornography and that he was unable to stop himself,” the NPA said.
In September, a 42-year-old Port Elizabeth man was sentenced to an effective eight years in prison by the Port Elizabeth Regional Court for possessing and distributing images of children involved in lewd sexual acts via his Twitter account.
The man, Kerwin David Budden, was arrested after he was named by a Krugersdorp man who was under investigation for creating and distributing child pornography.
In sentencing Budden to jail, magistrate Kenny Cooney said of some of the material found in his possession: “These are downright disturbing images which will linger with me, the prosecutor and defence council probably for the rest of our lives.”