Baby L: hospital takes action

FILE PICTURE: Members of BKA outside the Pretoria North Regional Court on 14 January 2014 where a couple stands accused of abusing their two year old child. The case was postponed until Friday. Picture: Christine Vermooten

Steve Biko Academic Hospital opened a case of child abuse when Baby L’s mother refused to do so.

 

This is according to a statement presented in court yesterday by the investigative officer in the case against Baby L’s mother and her 33-year-old boyfriend.

The two-year-old-girl, known as Baby L, was admitted to Steve Biko Hospital earlier this month with a fractured skull, a punctured pancreas and kidney, as well as bleeding on the brain. According to her grandmother she is breathing on her own, but is not yet out of danger.

The 20-year-old mother was more composed during the court proceedings in the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Magistrate Wessels earlier said she had to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether she is suicidal before a ruling can be made regarding her bail.

The clinical psychologist’s statement to the court heard that the mother poses no threat to herself or society at large. “She is naïve in the sense that she believes everything will work out. She does not quite grasp the gravity of the circumstances she finds herself in,” the statement said.

The State apposed bail for both the accused. The court heard that the boyfriend’s mother has a restraining order against him for “being cheeky… never physical”. His sister’s statement was also read out: she accused the mother and boyfriend of using drugs.

“He (her brother) is aggressive and his own children does (sic) not want to see him.”

The boyfriend’s domestic worker said in a statement she noticed bruising on Baby L, but was told by the mother that Baby L is a naughty child. Baby L’s mother and her boyfriend have both asked to be tested for drug use.

Four people said they had seen suspicious bruising on Baby L’s body before she was hospitalised.

Both the accused were moved to police cells. Their counsel have until Thursday next week to draft responses to the State’s bail arguments. Magistrate Wessels is expected to make a bail ruling then.



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