House of horrors: Teen girl was sexually abused, court hears

2016-06-06 15:52
A Springs man accused of abusing five children while keeping them captive for more than a decade, appears in court. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

A Springs man accused of abusing five children while keeping them captive for more than a decade, appears in court. (Mujahid Safodien, AFP)

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Pretoria – The 18-year-old girl from the Springs "house of horrors" was sexually abused, the Pretoria High Court heard on Monday.

Registered nurse Christina Rollin, who specialises in rape and neglect cases, testified that her findings during the examination of the girl were consistent with her having being sexually abused.

Judge Eben Jordaan asked that the media not publish details of the abuse, due to its sensitive nature.

Rollin was testifying in the trial of the couple accused of abusing and neglecting their five children in their East Rand home for years. The two, both aged 36, face a total of 42 charges. The matter came to light in May 2014, when one of their children, a 13-year-old boy, ran to a neighbour to beg for help.

The 18-year-old had scars on her upper right arm, and numerous injuries to her right hip and right leg.

Two of the younger daughters did not have any injuries. However, their teeth were decayed up to their gum line. Rollin testified that this would have been very painful for them.

"I did not find any clinical evidence of assault," Rollin said.

This did not necessarily mean they had not been assaulted, because some injuries could heal in a day or two.

The other younger daughter also had no visible injuries. She did, however, show signs of dehydration.

Struck in the face with a pool cue

Rollin said the two oldest children's teeth seemed to be in good condition.

Responding to the mother’s statement that she bottle fed the children Coca-Cola, Rollin said this might have caused the teeth to decay, as children sometimes slept with bottles in their mouths.

The youngest child, a boy who was 2 at the time of examination, had injuries that included a scar. Rollin said she could not determine the cause of these injuries.

"I did ask the mother if the children had been taken to a dentist, to which she replied that they weren't," Rollin said.

They had also not been vaccinated.

Prosecutor Jennifer Cronje said the children testified that their diet consisted mostly of bread, "slap chips", and mince with bread, mostly carbohydrate-based meals.

During cross-examination, she said none of the children had any weight problems, indicating that they received enough food.

"In the long term, it will leave the children with a bit of a deficiency," Rollin said.

The mother's lawyer asked Rollin if the woman’s injuries were consistent with her statement that she was struck in the face with a pool cue with such force that it broke. Rollin said they were.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  child abuse

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