The mother of 13-year-old Ronan Whittaker, who was stabbed 33 times in the hands, face and shoulder for his phone, said justice was not served after the Goodwood Magistrate’s court referred the accused to Valkenberg psychiatric hospital.

Ronan, who was attacked exactly a year ago while playing soccer with his friends, needed to undergo six surgeries to repair damage to the left side of his head, shoulder and hands when the accused attacked him in a Goodwood park after asking him for his name.

Whittaker said Ronan had recovered physically after the incident, but still suffers mental scarring, as the family wasn’t given a chance to represent Ronan’s case in court.

“We weren’t aware the judgment took place last week; an informant told me that they found him mentally unstable. I was very heartbroken. They don’t know what Ronan has been through.

“I can’t understand how they say he is mentally unstable when he knew what he was doing. An innocent, 12-year-old child was tripped by an adult man sitting on top of him, stabbing him 33 times while looking into his eyes. Besides the scars, the trauma he endured is beyond comprehension,” said Whittaker.

A Goodwood court official confirmed that a hearing was held last Tuesday, and said Moain Salie was referred to Valkenberg.

Whittaker said she hoped Salie would be given the maximum sentence. “Ronan is back at school and doing very well, but you can see there is visible damage. He initially asked why it happened to him, but he’s since stopped asking,” she said.