‘Baby L fell’, abuse-accused tells court

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

A two-year-old girl, known as Baby L, collapsed and bit her jaw tightly before she was taken to hospital in a coma, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday.

“When we got into the bathroom she collapsed. She bit her jaw closed and I tried to open her mouth and I couldn’t,” her mother’s boyfriend testified about what happened on December 30 last year.

“I pushed my finger into her mouth and tried to open her mouth. When her mouth opened mucus came out.

“When I hit her on her back to get the mucus out, I realised she stopped breathing. I screamed her name, I was in a state of panic.”

He called his mother to take the baby to Akasia Hospital.

The mother and boyfriend have denied trying to kill the child, abusing her, and depriving her of medical care.

The 37-year-old said that when he got to hospital, doctors did not want him to see the child.

“I got into the hospital and the doctors didn’t want to speak to me. I was treated like an abuser.”

He said he treated the baby as if she was his own daughter and that he would never injure her.

Earlier, the court heard the child fell down stairs and was unconscious while in the care of her mother’s boyfriend.

He also described how the toddler fell from a washing machine on December 27.

On Tuesday, a medical expert testified that Baby L was not injured accidentally but was a victim of child abuse.

Dr Lorraine Du Toit-Prinsloo, a forensic pathologist, testified that the toddler was already in a coma when she was rushed to the Akasia hospital on December 30 last year.

She had bleeding in her brain, a fractured hip, blood in her abdomen, a bruised kidney, a serious injury to the pancreas and bruises all over her body. She was in a vegetative state because of severe brain damage.

Prosecutor Salome Scheepers accused the 37-year-old of not caring about Baby L and her injuries.

Scheepers said if he cared he would have taken her to hospital after she fell from the stairs.

He replied: “I cared about her and loved her very much. I don’t have X-ray eyes to see her internal injuries.”

The trial continues.


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