Step­mom pleads not guilty in Lache case

‘I was drunk at the time and did not mean to kill her’

Cape Argus - - NEWS - Zo­didi Dano zo­didi.dano@inl.co.za

AMOTHER ac­cused of beat­ing her three-year-old step­daugh­ter to death said at no point did she feel the need to stop beat­ing the child. Anthea Kleyn­hans told the Western Cape High Court in her plea ex­pla­na­tion yes­ter­day that she wanted to pun­ish the child.

Kleyn­hans, a mother of three, al­legedly beat Lache Stols to death us­ing a belt.

She was charged with mur­der, child abuse and al­ter­na­tively as­sault with in­tent to do griev­ous bod­ily harm.

Kleyn­hans said she did not have the in­ten­tion to kill Lache and pleaded not guilty to the charges. She only pleaded guilty to com­mon as­sault.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred on Jan­uary 23, 2012. Kleyn­hans al­legedly as­saulted the child re­peat­edly, caus­ing blunt force trauma by beat­ing her by hand and as­sault­ing her with im­ple­ments.

Lache died on ar­rival at the hos­pi­tal due to mul­ti­ple in­juries.

Kleyn­hans told the court that after the beat­ing the child was still awake and looked “okay”.

“She walked with me to the room to go and dress her. I was still drunk when I was beat­ing the child.

“I can’t say how long the beat­ing lasted. I used a belt only. I was an­gry at that stage, I thought I wanted to pun­ish her. I didn’t feel the need to stop,” said Kleyn­hans.

At the time of the beat­ing one of her chil­dren was play­ing out­side.

She said the in­juries sus­tained by Lache could have in part been due to her pick­ing up the child to dress her.

“That is the only squeeze ac­tion I can re­mem­ber.”

Lache had been liv­ing with Kleyn­hans and her father, An­gelo Stols, in Happy Val­ley in Black­heath for about three months.

Be­fore liv­ing with the cou­ple she lived with Stols’s mother in Oudt­shoorn.

When Stols was at work she was left in Kleyn­hans’s care.

On the day of the in­ci­dent Kleyn­hans said she had three quarts of beer, 500ml of vodka and juice and an­other 500ml of whiskey and water.

Kleyn­hans said she had to look after Lache against her will. She said that dur­ing those three months she ex­pe­ri­enced “a very bad time” in her life.

“I drank too much dur­ing that time. It was a vague and hazy time of life. I did not have the in­ten­tion, nor did I fore­see, that the de­ceased would ex­pe­ri­ence griev­ous bod­ily harm be­cause of my ac­tions,” she

‘I CAN’T SAY HOW LONG THE BEAT­ING LASTED. I USED A BELT ONLY. I DIDN’T FEEL THE NEED TO STOP.’

said.

The case was post­poned un­til Oc­to­ber 9 when the State and the de­fence will present heads of ar­gu­ment. –

MURDERED: Lache Stols, 3, with her mother Lara Boer.

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