Baby L's mother testifies

2014-11-27 21:51
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Pretoria - The mother of a 2-year-old girl, known as Baby L, told the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday that she had never harmed her daughter.

Her lawyer Pieter Coetzee asked the 21-year-old: "Did you ever assault Baby L?"

Shaking her head, she said "no".

The Pretoria North woman and her 37-year-old boyfriend have denied trying to kill the woman's daughter, abusing the toddler or depriving her of medical care.

The woman told the court her boyfriend sent her an SMS on 15 December to tell her that he and Baby L had fallen down a staircase, and that on 27 December the baby was unconscious after she fell off a washing machine.

The 21-year-old woman looked at photographs of Baby L taken after she was admitted to hospital in a coma on December 30, and pointed out injuries she remembered.

On Wednesday, the court heard that Baby L fell down stairs and that she collapsed and was unconscious in the care of her mother's boyfriend.

The man said the toddler fell down stairs on 15 December last year. She was crying. He held her tightly, kissed her and consoled her before taking her up into the flat.

He also described how the toddler fell from a washing machine on 27 December.

At the hospital, the doctor told them the child had only a mild concussion.

On Thursday, the mother said her boyfriend often looked after the toddler, washed her and never gave her a reason to not trust him.

"He was loving and caring. He bought her toys and clothes," she said.

She said when she arrived at the Akasia Hospital on 30 December, he was already there and looked scared and shocked.

Before she began testifying, her lawyer argued for the case against her to be withdrawn, but prosecutor Salome Scheepers said Baby L was injured between 27 and 30 December, and that her mother was with her the whole time.

Scheepers said either the mother was harming Baby L or knew the toddler was being harmed and did nothing, therefore the State had a case against her.

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.

The case continues.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime  |  child abuse

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