Dad: I tossed baby to save her

2012-09-26 11:11
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Johannesburg - The father of a 2-month-old girl who died of internal injuries in 2009 admitted, in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court, that he played a part in her death, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

Shaun Bruckman, 46, pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable homicide.

He and his former fiancee Rona van der Riet, 33, are accused of causing the death of their child Alexa in May 2009.

According to the newspaper, both have pleaded not guilty to murder, assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm and child abuse.

In an explanation of his plea, Bruckman said he got up early on 31 May 2009, to prepare a bottle for Alexa.

Beeld reported that he told the court he stood up from a mattress on the floor, with the baby in his arms, stumbled, and tossed the child back onto the mattress to avoid falling on her.

In the process, she hit a wall before falling on the mattress.

According to Bruckman, he went back to sleep as Alexa had no visible injuries.

Van der Riet woke him in the morning and told him the child was not breathing. The baby was rushed to hospital, but was declared dead.

The newspaper reported that Dr Hestelle Nel, who performed an post mortem on Alexa, testified that she had severe brain injuries, concurrent with hitting a heavy object, and rib fractures common in cases of child abuse.

- SAPA
Read more on:    johannesburg
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