Child abusers get 10 years in jail
Bradley Connor and Malinda Marshall have each been sentenced to 10 years in jail for abusing their son, causing him to die blind and brain-damaged
The sentence was handed down in the Johannesburg Regional Court on Friday morning.
Connor and his ex-girlfriend were found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in November last year.
They abused their son Michael, leaving him brain-damaged, blind, and immobile. He had to be fed with a tube and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He died aged six, on October 16, 2011.
The abuse started when he was three months old. The two were 18 years old when they had him.
Probation officer Yolanda Matikinca had previously told the court that Marshall said Connor could not bear the child crying and would hit him every time he did so.
Correctional services officer Themba Mjonondwane said Connor had acknowledged he violated the rights of his child and that he had contributed to the abuse by neglecting him.
He however told the court that Connor did not appear remorseful.
Initially Marshall claimed that Connor had abused the child, but she later retracted this and claimed she alone was responsible for Michael's injuries.
Their lawyers had argued that the couple were young when they had him and had since matured. They had hoped for partly suspended sentences and correctional supervision.
The pair separated and both have new partners - and other children.
- Malinda Marshall has two sons aged four and five with her husband, Diederich, and is three months pregnant with another baby.
- Bradley Connor, baby Michael’s father, married the mother of his four-year-old daughter in October 2010.