National 16.8.2016 07:35 am

Case of Cape father convicted of killing baby postponed

A man arrested awaits the judge to use his gavel to render a decision.

A man arrested awaits the judge to use his gavel to render a decision.

The 25-year-old father committed murder, child abuse and assault.

The Western Cape High Court is expected to sentence Eugene Plaatjies for the murder of his three-month-old baby on Tuesday.

On August 8, Acting Judge Nolita Kose said “the court was not ready” to proceed with sentencing and postponed the sentencing.

Plaatjies, who seemed to bask in the media limelight before his April conviction, was visibly irritated by journalists attempting to photograph him.

The 25-year-old father has been convicted of murder, child abuse and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

His daughter, three-month-old Anthonique, died at Red Cross Children’s hospital a day after she was admitted on June 13, 2014.

Kose said in her judgment that she found it “very difficult to accept the version of the accused” and had no doubt that he “inflicted and consequently caused the death of the deceased”.

During the trial, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy testified that the infant had sustained multiple bruises, multiple fractures, severe closed head injuries, multiple skull fractures, a laceration of the liver, fractures of the ribs and a contusion of the lung.

The baby had both fresh and old fractures and had been “chronically abused”.

The pathologist said the extensive fractures of the skull would have been caused by banging the baby’s head against the wall or kicking her in the head.

The acting judge dismissed Plaatjie’s version that the baby had fallen off the bed and hit a bench.

The mother of the baby, 30-year-old Louise Alkaster, pleaded guilty to child neglect and was sentenced to a five-year suspended sentence at the start of the trial.

During the trial, Alkaster told the court that the day before her baby died she had been doing household chores when Plaatjies called her inside and she found the child having seizures. The baby was admitted to the Montagu hospital. She was unconscious, had shallow breathing, and bruises all over her body.

Staff at the Montagu hospital transferred Anthonique to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, where she was declared braindead and died the following day.

Two days later, Plaatjies threatened Alkaster with a knife and beat her up. A neighbour came to her rescue and the police were called.

Alkaster told the court she never laid a charge against her partner out of both fear and love.

The judge found Plaatjies guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for this incident.

– African News Agency (ANA)



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