Gruesome discovery in bath

2012-02-10 00:00

THE gruesome discovery of blood on a couch and body tissue floating in a little girl’s bath alarmed a woman into whose care she’d been placed by neighbours late at night.

This evidence was given yesterday at the trial of Gerald Rosselloty (40) charged with the rape of a six-year-old child on September 2, 2006, as well as arson and the murder of his girlfriend, Nokwazi Ntuli, on April 17, 2010.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Merilyn Howes, a former neighbour of Rosselloty’s adoptive mother, Brenda Rosselloty, testified that she heard a “big commotion with a lot of shouting and banging” at the Rosselloty’s flat at about 8.30 pm on September 2, 2006.

Soon afterwards Brenda Rosselloty knocked on her door. When she opened it she saw Brenda was “quite badly beaten up on her face”. She also appeared to be in a state of shock.

“She asked if she could come in as her sons were fighting,” she said.

She said Brenda’s two sons, Ian and Rowan, lived in the flat with their mother. But when she asked her who was fighting, Brenda replied it was “Gerald and Rowan”.

“I had heard of Gerald but I didn’t know him  … I asked what happened and she said that Gerald and Rowan had gotten into a fight and that she had got into the middle of it.”

Howes called Ian Rosselloty — who had been working a night shift — to come and help his mother. She also discovered that Rowan Rosselloty was safe at another flat. The owners told her they had called the police.

Before Ian Rosselloty arrived, Brenda asked Howes to go back to her flat to fetch a child who was there.

They found the little girl standing in the doorway of a bedroom “looking pale and scared”.

They took her back to Howes’s flat.

Howes said Ian Rosselloty arrived soon afterwards and took his mother to hospital for treatment. She was left to care for the little girl, who was “five or six years old”.

She described the child as “very quiet”.

Howes said the girl lay down on a couch and she gave her a blanket and pillow. After a while the child got up and went to the toilet and returned. She continued to do this “every couple of minutes”.

Howes asked the child if she was okay and she said she was having difficulty going to the toilet.

When she opened the door she noticed a “substantial amount” of blood on the little girl’s underwear and on her jeans.

But when she asked if someone had hurt her, the child replied no.

The little girl asked if she could “lie in a warm bath as that would help” and Howes ran a bath for her.

“While she was in the bath I went to the lounge and there I saw a huge amount of blood on the couch and I became quite alarmed …

“I ran back to the bathroom and said she must get out of the bath. I also noticed lumps of blood and [body] tissue floating in the bath.”

Howes said she “scooped up” the tissue floating in the bath.

She then contacted Ian Rosselloty, who eventually managed to trace the child’s mother.

The girl’s mother arrived at the flat at about midnight in the company of a man and took the little girl to hospital.

Warrant officers Alvin Freddy and Wiseman Ngcobo from the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit, said Gerald Rosselloty was identified as a suspect in the rape of the child and he was subsequently arrested.

Ngcobo said he had intended to interview the little girl before he handed over the investigation to another officer, but “she was in theatre” at the time and he could not talk to her.

At the start of the trial Rosselloty’s lawyer, Chetna Singh, said he had elected to remain silent and not to reveal the basis of his defence on any of the charges facing him.

However, during cross examination yesterday she suggested to police witnesses who testified about the arson and murder charges, that Rosselloty claims he fell asleep next to his girlfriend on the night in question, and later woke up to find himself in the passenger seat of his bakkie parked about half a kilometre from the scene of the fire at the Callanish Gardens complex.

He also denies he told police he had left to go to the Mighty Men Christian conference in Greytown and “turned back” when he got a message in the early hours that his simplex was on fire.

The case is proceeding.

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