Shocking details of how Nicholas Ninow raped a seven-year-old girl at a Dros restaurant in Silverton emerged on Monday when he pleaded guilty in the Pretoria high court.
Ninow, 21, disclosed what he did to the child when she opened the toilet door as he took drugs, and how he flushed away her underwear to conceal evidence.
In addition to rape, he pleaded guilty to possession of drugs and defeating the ends of justice. He pleaded not guilty to assault. The state withdrew a charge of kidnapping.
In his plea explanation, read by his counsel Herman Alberts, Ninow said on the day of the incident in September 2018, he had consumed alcohol after taking a drug known as Cat.
Ninow said he had also taken “substantial” amounts of the drug a few days before the day of the incident.
“On that day, I purchased an extra 200g of Cat.”
“After consuming liquor, I felt nauseous and I went to the toilet. I was paranoid and afraid that the manager of the restaurant had noticed that I was under the influence of drugs.
“I went to the female toilets and I entered one of the cubicles.”
He said he lowered his pants to create the impression he was using the toilet.
“I proceeded to take more Cat. At the time, I had already taken my shirt off since it was wet.
“While I was busy taking the Cat, the [child] pushed open the door. She said she wanted to urinate,” Ninow said.
He said he put the child on the toilet.
“In that moment I acted impulsively and put my penis inside the complainant’s mouth.
“Thereafter I penetrated the complainant’s vagina with my finger.
“I quickly realised what I was doing was wrong and I immediately stopped.”
Ninow said he realised he had the child’s panties in his possession, so he put them in the toilet and flushed it to get rid of the evidence.
“At the time of committing the offence, I acted intentionally, although I was under the influence of drugs and alcohol.”
He said he also flushed away the drugs.
In the plea statement, Ninow said that at the time of committing the offence he was not suffering from any mental illness that could prevent him appreciating the wrongfulness of his actions.
Ninow broke down as Alberts read the explanation.
There were murmurs from the gallery as the state read out the charges against him.
“Sies mdlwenguli [rapist]! Satan!” a woman shouted.
The visibly nervous Ninow held a document in his hand, which he read as proceedings continued.
In November, Legal Aid attorney Riaan du Plessis revealed there was a history of mental illness in Ninow’s family‚ that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had undergone treatment for substance abuse as a teenager.
“He started using substances when he was 14 years old. He has also harmed himself due to his mental health‚” Du Plessis said.
Ninow was declared fit to stand trial on February 8 by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court. This came after he was admitted to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, where he was evaluated by three psychologists and a psychiatrist. He has been in custody since the incident.