Parents guilty of beating baby to death
Little boy was continuously assaulted during his two months of life
The parents of a baby boy, who died of a massive head injury after being continuously assaulted during his two months of life, were both convicted of murder by the High Court in Pretoria on Monday.
Judge Cynthia Pretorius found Marissa Rudman and her lover Nolan Schoeman guilty of killing Wade.
He died of severe head injuries four days after being admitted to the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria in April 2009.
According to medical evidence, parts of his brain had already died and he was in a coma when he was admitted to the hospital. His brain injuries had been caused by direct blunt force trauma.
He was admitted to another state hospital a week earlier, but Rudman discharged him against medical advice.
Both his arms had been broken, as had most of his ribs.
He had a severe lung contusion, caused by a direct hard blow to the chest, as well as bruises and abrasions to his face, chest, and the soles of his feet.
A nine-year-old boy testified he had seen Schoeman punching Wade in the head.
Two doctors testified the baby’s injuries would immediately have been clearly visible.
Both accused denied being aware of any injuries or abuse.
Judge Pretorius said although there was no evidence that Rudman had assaulted the baby, she had been aware that Schoeman had attacked him.
The judge said it was noticeable that Rudman had been more concerned about Schoeman beating her than his attacking the baby.
She continued her relationship with Schoeman after Wade’s death for two years, until his bail was revoked, despite suspecting him of causing the baby’s death, Pretorius said.