newborn Couple charged with murder after four-month-old baby 'starves to death'

A newborn baby was found in restaurant bin. Photo: Stock/Canva

Couple charged with murder after four-month-old baby ‘starves to death’

Police said the couple is charged with murder after the death of their four-month-old baby, who died of complications of malnutrition.

newborn Couple charged with murder after four-month-old baby 'starves to death'

A newborn baby was found in restaurant bin. Photo: Stock/Canva

A couple is charged with murder after the death of their four-month-old baby, who allegedly died of complications of malnutrition.

THE COUPLE ALSO FACE FIVE OTHER CHARGES

According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Henry Mamothame, the couple also faces five other charges of contravening the Children’s Act.

Social workers had removed four of their children after allegations of abuse.

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“The couple from Alabama near Klerksdorp is said to have stayed together for 15 years and have two boys aged two and five as well as two girls aged 8 and 13.

“It is alleged that in May 2021, the mother was arrested for assaulting her two-year-old boy but was later released as she was at that time breastfeeding the four-month-old baby,” Mamothame said.

SOCIAL WORKERS REMOVED FOUR OF THEIR CHILDREN

Police reported the incident to the NW Department of Social Development for social workers to intervene. The intervention led to four of the kids being placed under the care of their maternal grandmother.

“In September 2021, the mother was arrested again for assaulting her 13-year-old daughter at the grandmother’s house. She allegedly hit her with clenched fists and kicked her before throwing her on the ground and afterward stomping her. She went on to assault her mother,” he said.

Mamothame said police investigations into the alleged assault led to the discovery that the four-month-old baby died on 13 August in a Klerksdorp hospital.

THE MOTHER ALLEGEDLY ASSAULTED HER CHILDREN

“This information was declared by an uncle of the baby’s mother. Investigations discovered that in June 2021 she forcefully took her two sons from her mother to stay with her and her partner,” Mamothame said.


He said the uncle reported this incident to the designated social worker, who promised to do house visits to the accused.

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“A report received from the social worker indicates on 09 August, when he took groceries to the house of the accused, he found the two-year-old boy in a bad state of health with sores all over his face.

“He went back the following day and to his shock, the couple had left the four-month-old baby by herself, lying on the bed without a blanket. He alleged the baby looked emaciated. He collected his wife to assist him with the baby before taking her home with them,” he said.

THE UNDERFED BABY WAS FOUND ALONE AT HOME

Mamothame said the social worker and his wife took the baby to a Klerksdorp hospital on 10 August, and the baby was immediately admitted.

“She died three days later. The attending paediatrician confirmed she died of malnutrition complications as she was not fed adequately.”

He said police investigations are continuing, and two of the children will be assessed by forensic social workers.

THE COUPLE WAS DENIED BAIL

The mother was arrested in September and her partner was arrested in October. The couple was denied bail and will remain in police custody until the completion of the trial.

They will be back in court on 17 January 2022.