No jail time for parents of gravely beaten twin babies

2017-06-26 14:28

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Pretoria – A mother and father who have been convicted of being accessories to the attempted murder and serious assault of their two-month-old twin babies, resulting in the severe brain damage of one, will not be facing jail time.

Judge Eben Jordaan handed down a five-year prison sentence, wholly suspended, of which three years will be spent under correctional supervision, to the convicted parents on Monday morning in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

The twins, known as Baby J and Baby M, were only two months old when the assault happened. Baby J was rushed to hospital on Christmas morning in 2012.

His head injuries resulted in permanent brain damage. His sister, Baby M, suffered several fractured ribs.

The court heard during sentencing that Baby J will never be able to lead a normal life and will always need permanent care.

24-hour care, seven days a week

As a result of the brain injury, Baby J is unable to walk, stand or crawl – he is unable to talk and just makes noises. He can also not eat on his own as he can’t chew and cannot swallow properly, which makes him very prone to choking.

Jordaan also noted that he had a minimal to zero immune system and would need 24-hour care, seven days a week.

While the twins are now in the care of their maternal grandparents, their 26-year-old mother lives with them and provides them with care, with her being the primary caregiver of Baby J.

Jordaan said the relationship between the mother and the twins was good and said she could understand what Baby J wanted from the noises he made.

The court also heard that the 28-year-old father had a permanent job and was providing financial support to the care of the children.

Jordaan, who said the attack on the twins was horrific, took these factors into account when deciding on an appropriate sentence.

The State argued for a prison sentence as both accused had failed to take responsibility or show remorse. Both parents maintained that they had no idea how Baby M and Baby J were injured.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime  |  child abuse

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