Woman's ex attacks her son

2010-08-10 08:58
Christo van Eeden lies in the ICU unit of a West Rand hospital. (Beeld)

Christo van Eeden lies in the ICU unit of a West Rand hospital. (Beeld)

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Johannesburg - A young man who suffers from brittle bone disease is lying unconscious and in a serious condition in the intensive care unit of a West Rand hospital after his mother's ex-boyfriend "hit and kicked" him.

Christo van Eeden, 19, who weighs barely 50kg, sustained skull and cheek fractures, amongst others, in the attack on Thursday afternoon at the family's car workshop in Krugersdorp.

Christo's mother, Tersia van Eeden and his younger brother, Louis, 16, are now fearing for their lives and hiding from Armand Barnard, 37, her ex-boyfriend.

Van Eeden said Barnard was still sending threatening SMSes to her and Louis's cellphones.

'Slapped'

Barnard admitted on Monday that he had "only slapped the child and kicked him about three times".

"They are laaities who think they are grown-up and they've been looking for trouble with me for some time. They threatened me and tried to run me over. Sometimes they tease me," said Barnard.

Van Eeden, a widow, said brittle bone disease (osteogenesis imperfecta) had been diagnosed in both her sons at birth.

As a result, they could never go to school and she home schooled them.

When Barnard was asked whether he knew of Christo's condition, he reacted: "Ag man, there is fuck all wrong with that child.

"The boys are actually really nice but they are too big for their boots. This thing is between me and their mother, not me and them."

Van Eeden and Barnard had been having a relationship for a year.

Fight


She said they'd had a fight on Wednesday night and she asked him to leave her house.

"He grabbed the keys to the back door, threw stones at some of the cars in our yard and sped off."

That evening, as well as on Thursday morning, Barnard apparently kept on sending threatening SMSes to her and the two boys.

"He also called Louis and said he was going to hurt him."

On Louis's phone there were SMSes from Barnard's number, which read: "You're done for tomorrow why so scared."

To Van Eeden he SMSed, among other things: "Sweetie now you have what you wanted your little boy dies today."

The next day Christo was at the car workshop with two other employees when Barnard, who is also employed there, arrived.

Van Eeden said she received an SMS from Christo, which said: "Armand here. Call John."

Pool of blood

She immediately called John Pollock, a family friend, who rushed to the shop.

Pollock said he found Christo in a pool of blood.

"If I hadn't arrived in time, he would probably have suffocated in his own blood," he said.

"The two employees tried to help during the attack, but Armand apparently had a knife with him and threatened them."

After he hit the boy, he took the keys to the work bakkie, a white Nissan, and sped off.

"The two employees saw this."

Barnard on Sunday denied that he sped off in a work car and said: "I drive my own car, a Golf bakkie. They're crazy!"

Pollock said an ambulance was quickly on the scene and took Christo to hospital.

Police officials at the scene said they would call them.

"We haven't heard a thing and will (on Tuesday) again go to the Florida police station to report the case."

'I am terrified'

Police spokesperson Captain Lydia Mtila-Dikolomela confirmed on Sunday that police officials had been on the scene.

She said reporters could enquire again on Tuesday why a case had not yet been opened.

Van Eeden said Barnard continues to send SMSes to her.

"One moment he tells me how much he loves me, the next he threatens to hurt my other son. I am terrified."

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