Stepmom jailed for beating, throttling child

2016-02-03 11:01
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Pietermaritzburg - A woman from Nottingham Road was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in prison for beating her 11-year-old stepdaughter with a golf club and a belt, and throttling her.

The 34-year-old woman, whose name is being withheld to protect the child, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm before regional Magistrate Rose Mogwera.

The court heard that the incident occurred on January 30 last year, after the girl was left alone at home with the woman’s two biological children — one aged 9 and the other a six-month-old baby.

The woman said in a statement to court that on her return home she discovered the 11-year-old had given her baby cooldrink, causing him to “choke and froth from the mouth and nose”.

When she questioned her stepdaughter about why she had done this, the child had no response, she said.

“I was angry because a few days earlier I was informed by my daughter that the complainant undressed and was playing with my baby’s genitals,” she added.

“Upset” by what had happened, she had beat her stepchild, she said.

The court was told the child suffered open wounds and lacerations on her body, face and head.

When deciding to impose direct imprisonment on the woman, the magistrate took into account that she had a previous conviction for attempted murder, in respect of which she still had a six-year prison sentence hanging over her.

Mogwera said despite this the woman could still not control her emotions.

“It is clear you have anger issues and cannot control your aggression, which made you over-react,” she said, adding that “stepmothers are notorious for abusing their partners’ children”.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  child abuse

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