Joburg parents guilty of assaulting baby

2011-11-21 17:31

Johannesburg - A man and woman were found guilty by the Johannesburg Regional Court on Monday of assaulting their baby in 2003, Women and Men Against Child Abuse said.

"We are incredibly disappointed that they were not charged with attempted murder," said executive director Kevin Barbeau.

Bradley Connor and Malinda Marshall, now both aged 26, were ordered to return to the court for sentencing on January 27.

They were found guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Both are out on bail.

He died a blind quadriplegic

Their child, Michael, who was 3-months-old at the time of the assaults, died a blind quadriplegic at Avril Elizabeth Home on October 16.

"Sitting in court listening to everything that happened to this little boy was heartbreaking," said Barbeau.

A medical professional said he appeared to have been throttled, causing haemorrhaging and blindness.

In October 2003, Michael was admitted to hospital with injuries which raised concern that he had been abused. A social worker looked into the case, but recommended that he be returned to his parents.


In November 2003, Michael was again admitted to hospital. He was bruised, blind and brain damaged. His parents - aged 18 at the time - were questioned.

Initially Michael's mother claimed his father had abused him.

Later, she retracted this and claimed she alone was responsible for Michael's injuries.

The baby was placed in the care of the Ikhaya Tini Vorster home, where he remained until 2007.

Marshall was convicted of assaulting the child on July 15 2005, after changing her plea to not guilty.

Married with kids

Connor received a suspended sentence, under a plea bargain in which he admitted to not feeding the baby and to not getting medical treatment for him.

In a new trial, both were charged with attempted murder in October 2009.

Connor applied for a permanent stay of prosecution, on the basis of his previous plea bargain. This was denied.

The attempted murder charge was later commuted to assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Marshall has since married and has three more children, all below the age of 8.

  • Michael - 2011-11-21 17:46

    These people are the dregs of humanity. The husband is remaried and now has 3 children with his current wife. I hope that child welfare regularly checks up on these children. They should have been charged with MURDER. "BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY"

      Dirk - 2011-11-21 17:59

      How can people abuse a three month old baby? They are so fragile. It pains me just thinking about it. I have two kids of my own. This is really sad that Adults can behave like this. I thought that as soon as someone dies from injury caused by another, they are automatically charged with murder.

      Michelle - 2011-11-22 09:48

      @Michael, the woman (Marshall) has remarried and had 3 children. It is a crying shame. The social worker who returned the child to their care should also carry some on the blame. There are people out there who are desparate to have children and then someone like Malinda Marshall has 4!!

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-11-21 17:46

    So what are the courts waiting for? Three more bodies before they remove further children from this monster? Disgusting!

  • Harold - 2011-11-21 18:00

    When someone is found guilty of child abuse they should be sterilised.

      Sharkshoot - 2011-11-21 20:28

      These two should be hunted down and beaten until they're unable to walk again.

  • mokgadim - 2011-11-21 18:01

    To think of all the people who want children so badly and cannot have them for one reason or another. And then you have idiots who do this!!! Makes my blood boil!

  • Suzanne - 2011-11-21 18:27

    I certainly agree with you comment Michael to return the death penalty. Children are not protected adequately in this country and the perpetrators get away with murder. I am absolutely gutted to hearing that they were only charged with assault. That poor little angel what he must have gone through in his short little life. Fortunately when children are let down with the justice system there still is a God who they will have to answer to someday.

  • alexandra.nett - 2011-11-21 19:00

    How come there are no photos of these evil the press protecting their identities.....Publish their photos so that we can know who they are and so that neighbours can know who they have in their midst and maybe one of their other children could be saved. These lowlifes do not deserve to be allowed the privelage of bringing children into the world. Please pray for the safety of their other children.

  • george.vanniekerk - 2011-11-21 19:10

    Justice Will be Done!...R.I.P..Baby Michael

  • Winsome - 2011-11-21 19:17

    I don't think I am going to read News 24 much longer - a terminally ill woman raped in hospital by a male nurse; and now this awful story. Why are these people free and on the streets still? These are monsters who should be locked up and the key thrown away. The mind boggles at such atrocities.

  • Sharkshoot - 2011-11-21 20:27

  • - 2011-11-21 20:28

    This is just sick... how many years later and these barbarians are still free and out of jail.. lock them both up... death penalty would have been better!

  • Chabi - 2011-11-21 20:55

    These people are evil...

  • Alva - 2011-11-21 21:06

    They should both have been sterilized! Obviously not nurturing material!

  • Serenity002 - 2011-11-22 06:53

    This is one of the most disgusting things I have ever read. Bradley Connor and Malinda Marshall should be sterilised and left to rot in prison for life.

  • gillian.sanderson - 2011-11-22 07:31

    8 years ago!!! Why is justice system so slow? They should never have allowed to have more children . . .

  • Suzanne - 2011-11-22 07:36

    This guy shouldn't be allowed to reproduce

  • colleen.figg - 2011-11-22 08:42

    They should be charged with murder

      Dezray - 2011-11-22 08:56


  • dave.j.colquhoun - 2011-11-22 08:50

    @Michael. I totally agree. This bas%^&d should have been sterilised to ensure thast he couldn't breed again. No doubt the "new" kids are also being abused and will end up perpetuating the cycle of abuse. Iagree with you 100% when you call fir the reintroduction of the death penalty. After all, it is a given fact that hanged criminals never become repeat offenders.

  • dave.j.colquhoun - 2011-11-22 08:57

    Hey Guys and Dolls. Heads Up!! There is a picture of the muderous bastard on the Home page. I urge everyone to print a copy and keep it handy so that you can distribute it in your neighbourhood in case he is living amongst you. Your kids will never be safe on the streets whilst he is free!!!

      BubblesdoubleO7 - 2011-11-22 09:55

      Could you possibly post the link? Thanks in advance.

  • tobiecelia.schalkwyk - 2011-11-22 09:24

    People who can't take care of a baby should not be allowed to have more children - they should have been sterilized long ago - and definitely not only charged with assualt

  • IZAAN.STEENKAMP - 2011-11-22 09:31

    Ag nee Here wat gaan aan in S-A kinders onskuldige kinders my hart skeer elke keer as ek sulke goed lees hierdie 2 moet n goeie pakslae kry van alle kante my hel hulle moet nie eens bail gekry het nie sies as ek hulle in die hande moet kry sal hulle soos daardie kleinding van hulle smeek vir gesag mag God julle nie ongestraf laat nie want julle verdien dit nie

  • Estene - 2011-11-22 09:31

    There is no justice in the world...

  • Gail - 2011-11-22 14:25

    t would seem that the poor baby only actually died in October this year so now it is murder. I sincerely hope the mother of the 3 children under the age of 8 which have been fathered by a child who calls himself a man is more mature and maternal and educated so that these children don't also become victims of abuse.

  • Amanda-Leigh - 2011-11-27 10:29

    Marshall is now married with 3 children?? Bloody murdering cow should have been sterilised to prevent other children from suffering the same fate. How can you even live with yourself after what they did to that dear child? How can she even look at her other children and not see that child's bruised and battered face? There is a special place in HELL for people like her and her co-accused. As for the social worker, if I make a mistake in my job, my company loses a bit of money, her apathy and ineptitude cost this child his life after much suffering. I hope she thinks of this child every single day of her life

  • Amanda-Leigh - 2011-11-27 10:31

    Please explain the law to me, assaulting a newborn baby, withholding food and medical treatment, all of which results in the death of the child.....and the charge is plea-bargained down to assault????

  • Claire - 2012-01-27 10:16

    Parents like these should be tortured, then put infront of a firing squad and shot as many times as possible. Hope they both burn in and eternity of hell... Justice in this case was not done... the law has seriously let this little boy down.

  • Jane-francis - 2012-01-27 10:20

    They should be thrown in jail and the key lost. They do not deserve to live. Bring back the death penalty.

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