News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
19 Jan 2017
5:51 am

Nothing wrong with twins before injuries, court told

Ilse de Lange

The twins' mother testified that both babies were fine the night before they were injured and slept 'peacefully'.

A young mother accused of severely abusing her twin babies and attempting to murder her son on Wednesday testified that there was nothing wrong with the twins the night before her son was rushed to hospital with serious head injuries.

The 26-year-old woman’s former boyfriend, who was charged with her, earlier also testified that there was nothing wrong with either of the two-month-old babies until his son, early on Christmas morning 2012, suddenly became limp and stopped breathing.

The baby boy was rushed to hospital with a fractured skull and brain bleeds. He had to receive emergency surgery, but was left permanently disabled. He cannot walk or sit on his own, cannot swallow properly and will never be able to talk.

A neurosurgeon testified that the baby boy’s head injuries were similar to those sustained in a car accident.

The baby boy’s twin sister had four fractured ribs and an infection in one of her legs which had already started to heal.

The young mother testified that she had met her former boyfriend in 2011 and became pregnant a few months later. She said he used to drink heavily at weekends with his friends and became aggressive when he was under the influence, often punching her and dragging her by her hair, even after she fell pregnant.

She and the twins lived with her parents after their birth, but went to visit her boyfriend’s parents for Christmas in 2012.

She testified that there was nothing wrong with the twins, apart from a problem with their milk and an incident when her daughter was taken to hospital because of a suspected insect bite on her lip.

She said she had bathed her daughter on the night before Christmas while her boyfriend bathed the boy. She had just put her daughter to bed when she heard her son screaming. He was in his father’s arms and it looked as if her boyfriend and his father had been arguing, because her boyfriend “suspiciously” silenced his father when she walked in.

Her boyfriend’s father told her to leave the baby with her boyfriend because he knew what he was doing, but she eventually took the child, calmed him down and put him to sleep.

She insisted there was nothing wrong with the twins that night and that both had slept peacefully.

The trial continues.

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