Alleged baby killer has mental breakdown

2013-07-29 20:42

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Pretoria - The trial of a Pretoria couple accused of murdering the woman's baby was delayed on Monday because she allegedly had a nervous breakdown.

Counsel for Juanita Oldewage, 26, told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that his client was not in court because she had a nervous breakdown.

He said she was not in hospital, but was too afraid to face the court or her husband, to whom she was still married, although they were estranged.

"It's just too much for her," Oldewage's advocate said.

He handed in a psychological report which stated Oldewage would be well enough to appear in court by Friday.

Oldewage and her husband Christiaan Oldewage are facing charges of abusing and murdering her 3-and-a-half-week-old baby son Christiaan jnr in December 2011.

The couple were married just before the baby's birth on 16 November 2011.

The baby was admitted for treatment at Montana Hospital in December, but died of multiple injuries several hours later.

His injuries included a fractured skull and multiple broken ribs.

The State alleges both accused repeatedly assaulted the baby, allowed him to be assaulted and failed to protect him from being assaulted.

They allegedly deliberately neglected and abused the baby.

The State intended seeking a court order to declare the Oldewages unfit to work with children.

Advocate Cornelia Harmzen objected to the trial being postponed.

The witnesses were all at court and the State was ready to proceed with the trial, she said.

Judge Lettie Molopa issued a warrant for Oldewage's arrest, but held over the warrant until Wednesday on condition that she appeared in court so the trial could be postponed.

Christiaan said he wanted to apply for bail on Wednesday.

Read more on:    child abuse

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