Alleged killer mom in tears

2012-04-19 19:30

Pretoria - A Pretoria mother accused of murdering her baby son sobbed, shook her head and rocked back and forth with her head between her arms on Thursday as a surgeon described her baby's injuries in court.

Marissa Rudman, 36, and her boyfriend Nolan Schoeman, 32, were charged with murder and child abuse after their two-month-old son Wade died of head injuries four days after being admitted to the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria in April 2009.

He was in a critical condition with convulsions, an eye swollen shut and visible bruises on his head and body when he was admitted, neurosurgeon Dr John Samuels testified in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

He was told that the parents had noticed blue marks on the baby's head and thought a spider might have bitten him, but he said it was clear that the baby had suffered blunt trauma to the head and chest.

X-rays revealed that the baby had two broken arms and various broken ribs that were a few weeks old and had already started to heal.

The baby's lung was bruised, which must have been caused by a direct blow to the chest as babies' ribs were soft and did not break easily.

The brain was bleeding in several places and there was such massive swelling that moisture was being forced out of the brain. The bones of the skull had pulled apart and parts of the brain had already died.

A membrane under the child's upper lip was torn, suggesting child abuse or severe facial trauma. He was of the opinion that the head injury was caused by a massive blow to the skull.

Marks around the baby's face and chest had the form of fingers, which even a layman would have been able to see with the naked eye.

Blood tests revealed underlying infection, shock and tissue damage. The baby was immediately moved to the intensive care unit where a team of neurosurgeons treated him, but his condition steadily deteriorated.

Very dangerous

Samuels testified that he phoned hospital security and the police after receiving a phone call from a senior nurse at the intensive care unit who told him baby Wade's family wanted to discharge him, and that his father had taken control of the unit and was refusing to let anyone get near the baby.

The unit had eight patients in serious conditions at the time. When he arrived at the hospital some time later, Samuels learnt that the police had been there and that the parents had left.

Samuels informed the hospital's registrar and the child protection unit about the case, because he was concerned about another child in their care, who may not be identified.

He testified that the brain bleeding would have been immediately obvious to a mother, and was already about five to seven days old when the baby was brought to the hospital.

He said the baby would have had a 60% chance of survival if his brain injury had been treated surgically within the first four hours of it being sustained, but the chances of mortality rose with every hour and day thereafter.

Samuels said there was no chance that the baby would have been discharged within a day or two.

Asked about Rudman's conduct eight days earlier, when she discharged her baby, against medical advice, from the Pretoria West Hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia, Samuels said this was "very dangerous" because babies' conditions deteriorated quickly.

Rudman's lawyer put it to Samuels that she become aware of bruises on the baby's head only the day before she took him to the Steve Biko Hospital.

She thought the bruises had been caused by a "struggle" to insert a drip into the baby's head at the previous hospital.

Rudman and Schoeman have both denied causing the injuries, which resulted in Wade's death, and have denied that they had abused the baby and the other boy in their care.

A family member testified that Rudman and Schoeman had both used the drug cat (methcathinone), but said he was not aware of Rudman's contention that she had stopped using it when she fell pregnant with Wade.

He said Schoeman had worked as a personal trainer at a gym, but that Rudman was the main provider and dominant figure in the troubled relationship, which was marked by arguments and physical attacks from both sides.

Schoeman's lawyer put it to the witness that his client had used drugs in order to cope with Rudman's attacks.

The trial continues.

  • colette.rossouw - 2012-04-19 19:52

    I'm disgusted. Imagine the pain that little baby had to endure probably since birth. And the pain it was going through in the last few days of it's life.

      barry.mcbride - 2012-04-19 20:23

      Why use the words “it” and “its” when ‘he’ and ‘his’ would be for more appropriate for a baby boy?

      Sonja - 2012-04-20 06:52

      Death penalty, need i say more. So many people desperate to have kids are struggling, but these people get to have kids and then abuse them. !!! Suffer and your tears will not help at all!

      Mattewis - 2012-04-20 07:23

      Colette, you obviously don't have children? My sentiments exactly, BMcB! The constitution unfortunately bans the use of the death penalty! I'm just wondering if it also bans removing the right of an individual to pro-create? Affording these two individuals that right, I feel is criminal! I think castration/hysterectomy should be mandatory in this case - together with lengthy prison sentences! I don't care what the evolutionists say in their rant corner of media24, I'm glad I believe that this poor child is now in a better place where he can only experience joy, peace & love!

      Tanie - 2012-04-20 10:31


  • Nicki.Labuschagne - 2012-04-19 19:54

    It's a bit late for tears. She didn't heed her little baby's cries of pain and fear ... So cry all you like. Nothing will bring that innocent life back.

  • vandeventer.sarel - 2012-04-19 20:13

    Sies!!!!!! Hoop julle vrot ini tronk.

  • braamc - 2012-04-19 20:14

    And this is human? Absolute savage

      carpejugulim - 2012-04-20 07:53

      No it isn't, it is however sheer and utter self-indulgent stupidity and a total lack of responsibility and accountability ... there is no excuse for what that little boy endured

  • Hein - 2012-04-19 20:22

    I hope they'll rot in jail. Wicked animals.

  • Marcel - 2012-04-19 20:27

    Ek is 'n volwasse man van 44 en my trane loop vir daardie arme babatjie se part. Mag julle pynlik vrek julle siek f%&*$n malkoeisiek varke!!!!! Wees veilig liewe baba waar jy nou is - jy is waarskynlik beter af daar...

      Helen - 2012-04-20 08:56

      I sooo agree with you Marcel....

      Lucia - 2012-04-20 09:15

      Marcel. Jy kan dit nie beter uit druk nie. Daar is nie 'n verskoning vir hulle optrede nie. Hulle is lafaards. Nou sit en tjank... noudat hulle in die moeilikheid is! Dis te laat vir trane.... Seker lekker sterk gevoel met die magsvertoning teenoor 'n 2 maande oue baba!

      heather.moller1 - 2012-11-02 08:04

      Ek stem saam met jou Marcel. Wat daai klein lyfie moes deurmaak, kan niemand begin verstaan nie. Hulle is nie mense nie, nog minder diere. Diere doen dit nie eens aan hul "kinders" nie. Steriliseer die etters, sit hulle in die tronk en gooi die sleutels weg. Daar sal hulle kry wat hulle aan die baba gedoen het. 'n Oog vir 'n oog?

  • Lacrimose - 2012-04-19 20:41

    People do not notice much of anything when they're on a drug-induced holiday from reality. No doubt this will be mitigating circs at the end of the trial. Cry mother, cry but you loved drugs more than yourself or your child - and you will have to live with that forever.

  • Shaylene - 2012-04-19 20:51

    Your tears are crocodile tears, u both are a savage beast. Someone needs knock you over the head with a blunt object. Sickos!!!!!!

      Warwick - 2012-04-20 08:37

      I hope she gets a broom handle shoved up her and he gets raped into a coma i ntheir cells soon.

  • Clive.D.Buckley - 2012-04-19 20:53

    How can anybody do this to any 2 month old baby??? and then especially one which is your own flesh and blood???? Sickening!!!

  • Sascha Lipka - 2012-04-19 20:56

    Hang them.....

  • maggsie - 2012-04-19 21:40

    these people are monsters!

  • Berto En Petra Mostert - 2012-04-19 22:03

    Dit is ook 'n aanklag teen die gemeenskap wat toegelaat het dat hierdie diere 'n baba in die lewe bring wat hulle onbevoeg is om groot te maak. Èn wat só iets toelaat om onder (hulle/ons?) neuse gebeur.Hoe is hierdie ouers grootgemaak? Dis 'n skande!

  • bashin.monyela - 2012-04-19 22:18

    This is just painfull to read, smh.

  • Jacqueline - 2012-04-19 22:22

    That poor, tiny, helpless tiny human being. May he be safe in the arms of angels. Hope the parents are tormented everyday for what they did to that child. Living with that guilt is worse than the death penalty.

      Warwick - 2012-04-20 08:40

      Psychopaths do not feel guilt or remorse in any way. They will never stop because the LIKE AND ENJOY what they do. You nEed to understand this. Soceity must not tolerate in any way these sub humans that live amongst us.

  • Mashilo - 2012-04-19 22:24

    I can't help but cry myself when I think of what the innocent child went through. It's heart breaking to read about cruelty on daily basis. What is going on in SA?

  • howard.komati - 2012-04-19 22:32

    Wht happend to humanity? How can a person treat his own child like tht? This is one of the sad story i have read in my life. I once saw a Dog and a Hare playing and it was around past 1 in the morning and whn the Dog saw us it started to chase the Hare around and frm tht Day my Perceptions abt animals changed.They are better thn Human in sum aspects.

  • howard.komati - 2012-04-19 22:33

    Wht happend to humanity? How can a person treat his own child like tht? This is one of the sad story i have read in my life. I once saw a Dog and a Hare playing and it was around past 1 in the morning and whn the Dog saw us it started to chase the Hare around and frm tht Day my Perceptions abt animals changed.They are better thn Human in sum aspects.

  • howard.komati - 2012-04-19 22:34

    Wht happend to humanity? How can a person treat his own child like tht? This is one of the sad story i have read in my life. I once saw a Dog and a Hare playing and it was around past 1 in the morning and whn the Dog saw us it started to chase the Hare around and frm tht Day my Perceptions abt animals changed.They are better thn Human in sum aspects.

  • Lennox - 2012-04-19 22:39

    This is just too sad,the parents must meet the same fate as their can't even call these 2 things parents,they're just dogs who deserve to die...

      Warwick - 2012-04-20 08:19

      Why does a dog deserve to die?

      Tamba - 2012-04-21 07:02

      don't insult dogs, dogs care and play with their babies

  • Linda - 2012-04-19 22:54

    Disgusted to say the least, What in God's name would drive any person yet a frikken parent to mishandle, abuse their child, FFS, sorry, but I get so mad and would like just 30 minutes with those sick people. An innocent child, people, we are meant to love, care and protect our children. There are families out there that would give what not to have one child, and then you get low life scum like Schoeman and Rudman who are not worth the air they breathe. I hope they rot in jail! This is where the death penalty is needed, you take someones life, or violate a persons body, then you do not deserve to live! I hope justice is done here!

  • chantello2 - 2012-04-19 23:56

    Hierdie is nie mense nie!!! Siek sadistiese goed!!! As sy in haar siek kop regtig jammer was sou sy skuldig gepleit het. Bring terug die doodstraf en hang hierdie twee honde

  • Anne - 2012-04-20 05:39

    Bring back the death penalty

  • Hermann - 2012-04-20 06:00

    By what has been written so far I conclude that lies will be the big defense. Evil protecting evil and comes the big betrayal to say who dunnit.

  • karenadawkins - 2012-04-20 06:45

    If this country only had the correct punishment to fit the crimes- i would sentence them to a brutal death the way they murdered there child, really make me sick sad and more than angry.... let me on them i will make sure they know how that poor little soul felt ,

  • Debi - 2012-04-20 07:30

    It's far too late for tears Marissa! Keep that for your sentencing! Dear little Wade is much happier where he is now! The two parents should never have had him but rather given him to someone who would have loved

  • Gemma-Leigh - 2012-04-20 08:04

    This has to be the most heartbreaking news I've seen all year. That poor innocent child had no means to defend itself. I couldn't help but cry at the thought of what this child had to endure in its short two months. I'm actually quite positive that the mother is most definitely guilty. She was so quick to point the finger at schoeman and yet that would imply she knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop it. Although more true is how quickly she pointed the finger and to me that's her admission of guilt. Furthermore, discharging your son out of hospital against medical advice and claiming ignorance to any slight injury to your son is completely negligent and absurd!!! If I saw bruising on my sons head and thought it to be a result of doctors man-handling (as she claimed) I'd immediately be back at the hospital with the police to lay a charge of negligence and my son would be in a different hospital to be sure he didn't sustain further injuries resulting from the bruises. She's as guilty as sin!!! She should rot in jail for such a heinous crime...together with anyone else involved or anyone else who knew but did nothing to help the baby!!

      Lisa - 2012-04-20 09:56

      Gemma, jail is not enough for this bitch, she needs to suffer more than that...

      Bless Boswell - 2012-04-20 11:03

      Gemma, you are a normal woman with normal motherly instincts. This monster is not. Some people are not capable of feeling protective over their young. Animals are known to kill their young - perhaps that's how intellectually developed she is.

  • Gcwabe.KaMavovo - 2012-04-20 08:11

    This is realy upsetting :(

  • Warwick - 2012-04-20 08:13

    Shoot this filth like you would a rabid dog. These sub humans enjoy this type of behaviour and will never stop. They will look for all sorts of excuses and psychologist will come up with all types of excuses for their crimes, but the FACT is they ENJOY AND GET A THRILL out of doing these things to children. Like the Terminator, they will never stop, unless they themselves are permanently stopped.

  • Virginia - 2012-04-20 08:20

    Oh how sad! Imagine this little baby's world. No love, only hell! Even the death penalty is too quick. They deserve the torture they put this innocent little baby through. Thank heavens he died so soon, can you imagine if he didn't. His repulsive parents would have kept up this abuse relentlessly for years! Oh my heart just breaks thinking about that little baby.

  • DesireeNike - 2012-04-20 08:39

    did any of the medical staff test the baby for any of the rare bone deseases? what happened to eliminating all other possibilities before getting to the worst conclusion?

  • Helen - 2012-04-20 08:55

    *Tears streaming down my face* Rest In Peace Little Angel...

  • Kyle - 2012-04-20 09:09

    I agree with Sonja... so many deserving people struggle to conceive, and then the TRASH end up with the miracle of birth.... sad and unfair

      Bless Boswell - 2012-04-20 10:59

      Somehow nature got this all ballsed up! Those who desperately want babies can't, while those who couldn't care less just keep pushing them out. having children is the most important thing many of us will ever do - and it doesn't even come with a manual.

  • Pieter Mulder - 2012-04-20 09:44

    I am calling for the death penalty to be reinstated. Things will change dramatically in this country.

      Bless Boswell - 2012-04-20 10:54

      YES!! Where do I sign?

      Rob - 2012-04-20 12:35

      It should be reinstated, but it wont be. Reason being...Dead men cant vote & the ANC would prefer the brothers to be incarcerated, whereby they are still able to " place their x " in the " right " box.

  • Lyzelle - 2012-04-20 09:45

    Lock them up and have a recording of a baby crying 24/7!!!!!! for the rest of their lives.

  • Lisa - 2012-04-20 09:54

    Disgusting excuses for human beings!!! hope they endure the worst pain and suffering possible!!! bastards

  • Melinda - 2012-04-20 11:46


  • chet.dreyer - 2012-04-20 12:22

    This kind of thing only makes me more keen on the death penalty,they must bring back the rope and quick!!!

  • chet.dreyer - 2012-04-20 12:22

    This kind of thing only makes me more keen on the death penalty,they must bring back the rope and quick!!!

  • Rechelle - 2012-04-20 13:05

    Dit breuk my hart, en om te dink hier is so baie "couples" wat probeer swanger raak, en dalk nooit die geleentheid gaan he om 'n babatjie van hul eie vas te hou of lief te hê nie. Hoe kan 'n mens 'n wonderwerkie van God so seer maak! Tenminste weet ons God slaap nie, en wat ookal gebeur hulle gaan hulle dag kry!

  • thabie.mbatha1 - 2012-04-20 15:05

    So inhumane! Hope they burn in hell for eternity

  • anne.hind - 2012-04-20 21:52

    Death penalty! No more needs to be said. Its a very evil human that can cause injuries like that to a defenseless child. The only reason the mother was " sobbing" was not due to her being abused or that she felt remorse, it was because she was caught! May they both burn n hell for eternity!

  • Mike Purchase - 2012-04-21 18:09

    Hang her amen

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