Baby L's injuries recalled in court

2014-11-26 14:58

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Pretoria - The injuries of a 2-year-old girl known as Baby L were recalled in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday when her mother's boyfriend testified.

The 37-year-old recalled how the toddler fell off steps on 15 December last year at the apartment he shared with her mother.

"When I looked up she was already busy falling. She started crying when she fell and that was when I looked up," he said.

He explained how when they got to the apartment he took Baby L out of the car and she started climbing up the stairs while he was taking out groceries from the boot of the car.

"She was almost on top [of the stairs]... I left everything and ran to try and stop her and I also fell in the process."

Using his left-hand he demonstrated how he used it to try and break the toddler's fall by pushing it underneath her.

"I tried to stop her fall but she fell at a speed," he said.

Baby L was crying a lot and he held her tightly, kissed her and consoled her before taking her up into the flat.

He called her mother and told her what happened and looked for injuries. He said there was a "grass-burn" on her lower back. She was not blue and that was the only bruise he could see but there was no bleeding.

The next day her grass-burn was blue, and her elbow and knee were also blue.

"You could see exactly what hit where," he said.

He described how the toddler fell from a washing machine on 27 December, when he was looking for new pants and underwear after she had an accident.

"She got up. It was loud I could hear when her head fell. I asked if she was okay and she said yes," he said.

Baby L taken to hospital

Sitting with his hands on his lap and fingers laced, he recalled asking Baby L if she wanted something to drink and going to the kitchen to pour her a cold drink.

"When I turned around to give her the cold drink she fell forward. She just fell without shielding herself... She was unconscious.

"I grabbed her in panic, I didn't know what to do. I grabbed her from the ground, shouted her name - I really didn't know what to do," he said.

He called her mother who was on the way home with her boss and they took Baby L to hospital.

He said the doctor told them at the hospital that it was not serious and was a mild concussion.

On Tuesday, a medical expert testified that Baby L was not injured accidentally but was a victim of child abuse.

Dr Lorraine Du Toit-Prinsloo, a forensic pathologist, testified that the toddler was already in a coma when she was rushed to the Akasia hospital on 30 December last year.

She had bleeding in her brain, a fractured hip, blood in her abdomen, a bruised kidney, a serious injury to the pancreas and bruises all over her body.

She was in a vegetative state because of severe brain damage.

Du Toit-Prinsloo said bruises on the skin were the first sign of child abuse.

The history provided by the accused was that Baby L had tumbled down stairs on 15 December, but Prinsloo said falling down stairs was likely to cause superficial injury and involve only one body area, most commonly the head and neck.

The mother and boyfriend have denied trying to kill the girl, abusing her, and depriving her of medical care.


Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime  |  child abuse

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