A four-month-old baby, known as Baby M, was allegedly severely beaten by his father because he started crying during a domestic dispute.
This was revealed on Tuesday in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court where the 28-year-old father, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the child, was applying for bail.
According to the State, the accused was under the influence of drugs when he started assaulting his girlfriend at the time, who is the mother of Baby M.
In an affidavit by the investigating officer that was read into the record by the State, it’s alleged that Baby M started crying during the assault on his mother.
The accused then allegedly started shouting at the baby and eventually started assaulting Baby M to get him to stop crying.
It was previously reported that Baby M suffered broken ribs, a broken femur, and facial injuries during the incident.
The State opposed bail, alleging that the accused was a danger to society as he’s a habitual drug user.
It was also placed on record that the accused, if released, would take drugs again and possibly accost Baby M and the mother again, in “revenge for being arrested”.
Furthermore, the State contended that the accused was a flight risk as he ran away from the police on the day of the incident.
The investigating officer also asked that the court order the accused enter drug rehabilitation if he’s granted bail.
In an affidavit by the accused, read into record by his legal aid attorney, he claimed that he was innocent and would be pleading not guilty to the charges.
According to the charge sheet, the accused was charged with:
- Attempted murder – detailing the alleged grave assault on Baby M.
- Kidnapping – the accused allegedly locked the baby’s mother inside of their flat during the incident.
- Assault – the accused allegedly beat the mother with a clenched fist.
- Child abuse or deliberate neglect.
The accused stated that he would not attempt to evade his trial as he had close ties to the community and strong family relations.
He also told the court that he would lose his job as a mechanic if he was not granted bail.
The accused said he would reside with his father and stepmother in their home in Pretoria as the flat in Sunnyside that he was living in with the mother and Baby M was no longer available.
The matter was postponed as the magistrate wanted the investigating officer to provide additional details before making a decision.
These details include:
- Whether the rental agreement of the apartment had lapsed.
- The injuries sustained by Baby M and the mother.
- If the accused would have access to Baby M.
- Where Baby M was living now and how far away this was from the accused.
The magistrate said these details were left out of the investigating officer’s affidavit, which meant that there was too much uncertainty to make a decision.
Meanwhile, Baby M’s mother had been charged with conspiracy to commit murder after allegedly attempting to hire an inmate to murder the father, who had been in Kgosi Mampuru Prison since his arrest.
According to the charge sheet, on 9 November, the 18-year-old mother allegedly attempted to secure the services of a “gang member” to kill her now ex-boyfriend.
The mother, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of Baby M, was arrested, but had since been released on R1 000 bail.
The father was expected to appear in court again on 4 January for the continuation of the bail application, while the mother would appear again on 6 January after her matter was postponed for further investigation.