Montagu father 'heartbroken' after killing baby daughter

2016-06-01 13:35
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Cape Town – A Montagu man found guilty of fatally assaulting his 3-month-old daughter was "heartbroken" after her death, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

Eugene Plaatjies, 24, could still not believe Anthonique was dead and felt like he was dreaming, social worker Charlene Demas testified.

"The word that he used when he saw his baby in the coffin on the day of her funeral was that it was 'hard'," she said.

Demas, however, conceded to prosecutor Maria Marshall that Plaatjies had maintained that he was innocent and that he did not take responsibility for what had happened. She recommended that he receive direct imprisonment.

A pathologist previously detailed numerous injuries the baby had sustained in 2014, including a skull fracture.

Plaatjies was convicted in April of murder, child neglect and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The child’s mother, Louise Alkaster, received a suspended five-year sentence after pleading guilty to child neglect.

Demas, called by the defence on Wednesday, read out the pre-sentencing report she had compiled after speaking to Plaatjies, Alkaster, and their relatives.

Quiet, loving, possessive, jealous

A picture emerged of two very different sides to Plaatjies. On the one hand, Alkaster described him as quiet and loving. 

But she also told Demas that he physically abused her in the presence of her son before she fell pregnant with Anthonique.

"She said she loved the accused and thought he would change. That is why she never laid a charge against the accused," Demas said through an interpreter.

Alkaster’s father described Plaatjies as possessive and jealous. He said Plaatjies had once spat in his face after he confronted him about hitting the baby hard in the chest to make her quiet.

Alkaster’s young son recalled Plaatjies once dragging his mother from the bed to the kitchen, with a knife in his hand.

After meeting him twice, the social worker found it hard to reconcile his "respectful" nature with the crimes.

The charges and injuries, however, all pointed to aggression and violence, she said.

It was difficult for her to say whether he was a danger to society.

"But on the other hand, a father is supposed to protect his child."

Read more on:    cape town  |  child abuse  |  crime

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