After being found guilty for the brutal murder of three-year-old Courtney Pieters in December 2018, Mortimer Saunders plans to appeal against the sentences he received.
Sentenced to two consecutive life terms for murder and rape, Mortimer intends to exercise his right to appeal against the sentences in the Western Cape High Court on February 20 2019.
Courtney’s body was discovered in Epping Industria nine days after she went missing from her home in Elsies River.
During Saunders’ sentencing held last year, presiding Judge Babalwa Pearl Mantame says it was evident that Courtney was tortured before she passed away.
“If one had to consider what the deceased had gone through before her death‚ it has been a painful‚ agonising and harrowing experience. This is borne out by the injuries that she sustained. It is apparent that the deceased went through a great deal of torture before she met her death,” the judge said.
Saunders had fed the three-year-old ant poison and admitted he had performed necrophilia on her dead body. It later emerged that Saunders committed the act due to “ill feelings” he harboured against Courtney’s mother.
Judge Mantame found that it was proved beyond reasonable doubt by the state that the toddler’s murder was premeditated.
According to reports by IOL, Judge Mantame said the crime was the “most vicious, vile, ruthless, and evil murder the court has ever seen”.