Hor­ri­fic images of tor­tu­re to ba­bies

Knysna-Plett Herald - - News | Nuus - Yo­lan­de S­tan­der yo­lan­de.grm2@gmail.com

Not on­ly we­re hor­ri­fic de­tails a­bout the thou­sands of images found in the pos­ses­si­on of a P­let­ten­berg Bay com­pu­ter en­gi­neer – who ple­a­ded guil­ty to a­bout 19 000 char­ges of child por­no­grap­hy re­cent­ly – re­vea­led as sen­ten­cing pro­cee­dings star­ted, but ma­jor in­a­de­qua­cies in terms of mo­ni­to­ring on­li­ne sexu­al pre­da­tors un­der cor­recti­o­nal su­per­vi­si­on we­re high­lig­h­ted.

Wil­li­am Be­a­le took his pla­ce in the dock in the Knys­na Re­gi­o­nal Court F­ri­day Ju­ne 30, 2017 for sen­ten­cing in the mat­ter, which has been drag­ging on for mo­re than two and a half y­e­ars, to get un­der­way.

This af­ter the 39-y­e­ar-old ple­a­ded guil­ty to a­bout 19 000 char­ges of pos­ses­si­on of child por­no­grap­hy in Fe­bru­a­ry this y­e­ar fol­lo­wing his ar­rest by in­ter­na­ti­o­nal po­li­ce in Ja­nu­a­ry 2015. He was sub­se­quent­ly re­le­a­sed on R10 000 bail and re­lo­ca­ted to Kim­ber­ley to li­ve with his brot­her and his fa­mi­ly.

Be­a­le was the first South A­fri­can to ha­ve been ar­res­ted as part of O­pe­ra­ti­on Cloud 9. The o­pe­ra­ti­on in­vol­ved coope­ra­ti­on be­t­ween South A­fri­can and Bel­gi­an po­li­ce re­spon­si­ble for cracking do­wn on an in­ter­na­ti­o­nal child por­no­grap­hy ring lin­ked to a cy­ber meet­ing spa­ce for pa­e­dophi­les w­ho­se fe­tis­hes seem to be the sexu­al a­bu­se of ba­bies. So­me of the images found in­clu­ded the tor­tu­re and mur­der of ba­bies as young as on­ly a few days old.

IMAGES TO HOR­RI­FIC TO PU­BLISH

W­hen Be­a­le was ar­res­ted po­li­ce found secti­ons of fi­les con­tai­ning thou­sands of vi­de­os and vi­o­lent as­saults, as well as in­ter­net ad­dres­ses of mo­re than 300 al­le­ged pa­e­dophi­les. As sen­ten­cing pro­cee­dings star­ted on F­ri­day Ma­gi­stra­te Eu­ge­nia Ja­cobs said that be­cau­se of the sen­si­ti­ve na­tu­re of the images in que­s­ti­on, t­he­se could not be dis­cus­sed in an o­pen court. She the­re­fo­re, with the re­le­vant ro­le­play­ers, vie­wed a “sam­ple” of the images in her cham­bers.

She said t­he­se could be di­vi­ded in­to va­ri­ous ca­te­go­ries and in­clu­ded images of in­fants, todd­lers and teen­a­gers. The images al­so ran­ged from the bon­dage and ra­pe of ba­bies to ot­her de­vi­ant sexu­al acts being per­for­med on child­ren. E­ven the ca­te­go­ries of t­he­se cri­mes de­picted in the images are too hor­ri­fic to pu­blish.

“We are shoc­ked to the co­re he­a­ring the hor­ri­fic de­tails of w­hat the victims in tho­se images had to en­d­u­re. It is ab­so­lu­te­ly sic­ke­ning,” said Wo­men and Men A­gainst Child A­bu­se We­stern Ca­pe spo­kes­man Joanne Bar­rett. She and se­ver­al ot­her an­ti­child a­bu­se acti­vis­ts, in­clu­ding P­let­ten­berg Bay’s G­reen He­arts, at­ten­ded court pro­cee­dings.

A­mong the wit­nes­ses who tes­ti­fied as part of sen­ten­cing pro­cee­dings on F­ri­day was Ge­or­ge cli­ni­cal psy­cho­lo­gist T­jaart van der Walt who was cal­led for mi­ti­ga­ti­on of sen­ten­ce.

BE­A­LE HAD SUF­FE­RED SE­VE­RE A­BU­SE

Van der Walt tes­ti­fied that Be­a­le had suf­fe­red se­ve­re a­bu­se – sexu­al, phy­si­cal and psy­cho­lo­gi­cal – as a child and that this was a con­tri­bu­ting fac­tor to de­ve­lo­ping de­vi­ant sexu­al in­te­re­sts.

He ad­ded that af­ter con­sulting with Be­a­le, it be­ca­me ap­pa­rent that he suf­fe­red from se­ver­al dis­or­ders in­clu­ding pa­e­dophi­lia and suf­fe­red from a­mong ot­hers strong an­ti-so­ci­al be­ha­vi­ou­ral traits.

Van der Walt said whi­le the­re was no cu­re for pa­e­dophi­lia and no “be­st practi­ce” tre­at­ment for it, that re­se­arch had sho­wn that “hands-off on­li­ne” of­fen­ders – which did not in­clu­de phy­si­cal a­bu­se of child­ren –had a low li­ke­li­hood of re­of­fen­ding or de­ve­lo­ping in­to “con­tact” cri­mi­nals. He al­so tes­ti­fied that, to his, kno­w­led­ge the­re was no e­vi­den­ce that Be­a­le had g­room­ed any child for a­bu­se and that his vie­wing of child por­no­grap­hy was li­ke an ad­di­ti­on. “He ad­mit­ted that he would of­ten bin­ge wa­tch for up to eig­ht hours at a ti­me,” Van der Walt said. A cor­recti­o­nal ser­vi­ces re­port was al­so han­ded in as e­vi­den­ce and sug­ge­sted that Be­a­le was a can­di­da­te for cor­recti­o­nal su­per­vi­si­on, but pro­se­cu­tor Ger­da Marx poin­ted out that the­re was no mo­ni­to­ring pro­gram­me in pla­ce in terms of his on­li­ne acti­vi­ty. Cor­recti­o­nal su­per­vi­si­on on­ly in­clu­des se­ver­al vi­sits, in­clu­ding to the con­victed per­son’s ho­me and work.

“Cor­recti­o­nal su­per­vi­si­on should not e­ven be an op­ti­on. How can you mo­ni­tor so­meo­ne, w­ho­se cri­mes hap­pe­ned on­li­ne, to en­s­u­re that he does not re­of­fend?” Bar­rett said.

Marx al­so poin­ted out that w­hen a per­son was con­victed, t­he­se vi­sits hap­pe­ned fre­quent­ly – a­bout eig­ht vi­sits a month – but should the per­son show good be­ha­vi­our, he or she was seen as a lo­wer risk af­ter six mont­hs and the num­ber of vi­sits re­du­ced. In so­me ca­ses the vi­sits can be re­du­ced to on­ly two a month af­ter on­ly a y­e­ar.

The mat­ter was pos­t­po­ned to Oc­to­ber 4, 2017 for the con­ti­nu­a­ti­on of sen­ten­cing w­hen the sta­te is ex­pected to cross-ex­a­mi­ne Van der Walt and call a­not­her ex­pert wit­ness.

He was sub­se­quent­ly re­le­a­sed on R10 000 bail and re­lo­ca­ted to Kim­ber­ley to li­ve with his brot­her and his fa­mi­ly.

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