I'm no monster - baby killer accused

2013-12-03 20:36
(<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com'>Shutterstock</a>)


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - He was not the monster people claimed he was and never assaulted his wife or her 3-week old baby, a Pretoria man testified in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

Christiaan (Chris) Oldewage said he could not explain how his stepson, 3-week-old baby Stiaan, sustained a fractured skull, 16 rib fractures, and multiple internal injuries which led to his death on 13 December 2011.

Oldewage's wife Juanita was arrested with him, but committed suicide in August this year.

He said he thought the bruises on the baby's head were from being scratched by a cat about a week before.

He later said in cross-examination the injuries were so severe his wife took the baby to hospital.

"The baby's lips and eyes were swollen. I don't know what caused it. Maybe he was allergic to the cat," he said.

Oldewage said on the day before baby Stiaan's death he had heard a "strange noise" in the baby's cot.

He woke up his wife to get the baby to hospital, where CPR was started because the baby could not breathe.

He went home early that morning because his 12-year-old brother who was with him was tired. When he returned to the hospital he asked staff why the baby, who looked like he was sleeping, was so cold when he held him.

They told him the boy had already been dead for about half an hour.

"The baby was okay. He was a very good baby. He never cried a lot. I didn't assault the baby under any circumstances. It is ridiculous to say that I did," he said.

Oldewage admitted drinking too much after losing his job shortly after the baby's death, but denied assaulting his wife or stepson.


In cross-examination by prosecutor Cornelia Harmzen, Oldewage said his wife gave the baby his last bath on the night before his death because he was fairly drunk and did not want to handle the child.

"It's dangerous to handle a baby when you're drunk," he said.

Questioned by Judge Bert Bam, he said only he, his brother and wife had been at home that night. He did not think his brother had assaulted the baby, but it was possible that his wife did.

"There were serious injuries. A skull fracture, broke ribs, brain bleeding. Wouldn't you have seen it?" Bam asked.

"When he went to sleep nothing was wrong with the baby. He was still quite happy," Oldewage answered.

Harmzen put it to him that the motive for the murder was that he had a problem with the fact that the baby was not his.

Oldewage said he had accepted the child as his own and had often given it attention, for example playing "airplane" with him. He could not remember if he supported the baby's neck while doing so.

Dr Christiaan van Wyk testified that the baby was blue and not breathing when he was admitted to hospital.

Doctors struggled in vain for four hours to save him. Van Wyk said he never seen such serious injuries, even in victims of car accidents.

The trial continues.

Read more on:    child abuse

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.