NPA urged to appeal ‘slap on the wrist’ for parents who assaulted babies





Alex Mitchley

 Centre for Child Law

Pretoria – The Center for Child Law has urged the State to appeal the judgment and sentence of a mother and father who escaped jail time after they were convicted of being accessories to the attempted murder and serious assault of their two-month-old babies.

In the High Court in Pretoria last week, Judge Eben Jordaan handed the duo a five-year prison sentence, which was wholly suspended, of which three years would be under correctional supervision.

The twins, however, known as Baby J and Baby M, are still in the care of the mother as well as their grandparents.

They were only 11 weeks old when the assault began.

Baby J was rushed to hospital on Christmas morning in 2012 with a cracked skull and brain bleed. His head injuries caused permanent brain damage.

Baby J cannot 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.

The court found multiple assaults had taken place on baby J and that the serious brain damage nearly caused his death.

His sister had several fractured ribs, which occurred through the use of extreme force. Medical experts testified that baby’s ribs were difficult to fracture because of the thoracic elasticity of a baby.

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