Family weep for couple in dock over toddler who ‘died afraid and in terrible pain’

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Family weep for couple in dock over toddler who ‘died afraid and in terrible pain’

Roxanne Henderson | 2017-02-21 13:59:58.0

When they heard that their matter would be postponed‚ the man wept‚ along with family members of the couple‚ who were seated in the public gallery. File photo.

Image by: Thinkstock

A man accused of killing a three-year-old child by bathing him in boiling hot water‚ wept as he heard he would be spending more time behind bars.

The man‚ 36‚ and his partner‚ 28‚ who is the deceased boy’s mother‚ appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court briefly on Tuesday.

They were due to hear the outcome of their bail applications‚ but were remanded in custody while the court collects further evidence.

In court‚ the accused couple sat apart in the dock.

When they heard that their matter would be postponed‚ the man wept‚ along with family members of the couple‚ who were seated in the public gallery.

They were arrested on February 8.

The three-year-old boy died in June last year while in the man’s care at the couple’s home in Naturena‚ south of Johannesburg. It is alleged that the couple abused the child.

People close to the case have shared some of the allegations on social media.

“[The child] was in the care of his mother’s boyfriend when he sustained brutal injuries to his little body. His mom came home‚ late that afternoon‚ to find [the child] unresponsive. She did not call paramedics‚ nor did she take him to hospital‚ she did not even attempt to get any kind of help for this child‚ he had to die alone‚ afraid and in terrible pain‚” the post claimed.

The boy reportedly died after sustaining burns to 60% of his body‚ allegedly from a boiling hot bath.

Magistrate Peter du Plessis said he had read the couple’s statements‚ placed before court‚ in support of their bail applications‚ but needed to hear evidence from the case’s pathologist before deciding whether to grant bail.

“I am not prepared to do a judgment when the court is called upon to draw inferences which it is not trained to do. I can’t draw these inferences because I’m not a medical practitioner‚” he said‚ referring to the prosecution’s claim that the versions put before the court by the couple cannot be true.

The man and woman‚ who cannot be named in order to protect the identities of their other children‚ both face counts of murder and child abuse. They intend to plead not guilty.

The case returns to court next month.



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