South Africa 4.7.2014 01:18 pm

‘House of Horrors’ mom not a flight risk – judge

The wife  of the man accused of abusing her and their five children and holding them captive appears in the Springs Magistrate's Court in Ekurhuleni, Tuesday 2 July 2014. Picture: Neil McCartney

The wife of the man accused of abusing her and their five children and holding them captive appears in the Springs Magistrate's Court in Ekurhuleni, Tuesday 2 July 2014. Picture: Neil McCartney

The woman facing the same charges as her husband in the so-called “House of Horrors” case in Springs was this morning granted R2 000 bail.

Magistrate Bennita Oswell granted bail on three conditions – firstly that the woman, who cannot be identified to protect the identity of her five children, reside with her family in Springs for the duration of the trial.

Should she change address, she is also required to inform investigating officer Warrant Officer Rudi Jansen of her new address within 24 hours of moving.

“The applicant may also not make any direct or indirect contact with any state witnesses (as per a supplied list), including her 11-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter,” Oswell said.

The woman could also have no contact with her three younger children, aged 2, 3 and 4, pending finalisation of the children’s court proceedings.

Oswell was satisfied that, given the woman’s reliance on others particularly her husband, for survival, supported by the fact that she is dyslexic, that she would not intimidate or influence witnesses or attempt to destroy evidence.

“Based on the nature of the charges, and the applicant’s personality, the court cannot find that she is a flight risk and believes that the imposition of bail conditions will be sufficient,” Oswell said.

The woman’s trial will begin on July 25 at the Springs Magistrate’s Regional Court, where she will stand with her husband co-accused of child abuse, defeating administration of justice, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and attempted murder.

The woman was arrested on June 23 after refusing to sign a second statement against her husband.

She had before then co-operated with police, but claimed intimidation by police into signing the statement against her will, as she loved her husband.

The story surfaced when the couple’s 11-year-old son escaped from the family home on May 20 and alerted neighbours to alleged ongoing abuse at the house later nicknamed the ‘House of Horrors’.

 

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