Parents sentenced for Baby Wade's death

2013-03-05 13:11
Marissa Rudman (Picture: Sapa)

Marissa Rudman (Picture: Sapa)

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

Pretoria - The couple convicted of murdering their 2-month-old baby were sentenced to 10 and 13 years in prison respectively by the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.

Judge Cynthia Pretorius sentenced Nolan Schoeman to 13 years and his former girlfriend Marissa Rudman to 10 years' imprisonment for the April 2009 murder of their baby son Wade.

Rudman, 36, screamed and swore at Schoeman, 32, while being handcuffed after being sentenced, before bursting into tears.

"I hope you fucking die. You fucking cunt. How could you not speak up? You took my baby from me," she shouted.

Pretorius ordered that the two years Schoeman had already spent in jail should be taken into account when calculating his release date.

Baby’s skull pushed apart from swelling

The judge found there were substantial and compelling circumstances to justify a lesser sentence, despite the horrendous manner in which the couple had tortured and killed their baby.

A pathologist testified during the trial that she had never seen a baby with such severe injuries. Baby Wade's brain injuries were so extensive that the swelling pushed his skull apart.

He had lung contusions caused by a hard blow to the body, unusual injuries to both feet, finger marks, bruises to his face and body, two broken forearms, and 22 broken ribs.

Pretorius said Schoeman and Rudman had been severely abused as children themselves and had also abused drugs.

She took into account the circumstances in which the couple had found themselves, being without employment, money, or transport.

The judge said the baby was severely abused for at least two weeks before he died. A medical doctor testified that any of the injuries would have been immediately visible. However both accused denied seeing any injuries and neither gave any explanation of how the baby was hurt.

‘Not a battered woman’

Pretorius said she did not believe that either of the two was remorseful, although they now seemed to realise the enormity of their baby's death.

Rudman had lived with Schoeman, who she knew had killed her baby, for two years after their arrest, and only broke up with him when he was re-arrested.

It was doubtful if Rudman was a battered woman, as she had frequently chased Schoeman away, but always took him back, said Pretorius.

The Child Abuse Action Group's Lucy Redivo reacted with outrage at the sentence.

"Ten and 13 years is but a tap on the shoulder, because where is this child? He's gone, and gone in the most horrible way.

"He suffered tremendously for weeks. He had wounds that were healing that were more than two weeks old. We should demand stiffer sentences for people who kill babies. [Pretorius] was very lenient on them."

Read more on:    racism

Join the conversation! 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

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 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.