Foetus thief 'asked doc for favour'

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Loretta Cooke THE STAR Loretta Cooke at the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court. Photo: Bhekikhaya Mabaso

Johannesburg - A woman accused of murdering her friend to steal her unborn baby asked her doctor to put incorrect dates on her medical report, the High Court in Johannesburg heard on Monday.

During testimony Dr Otillia Mazhindu told the court she examined murder and attempted-murder accused Loretta Cook in January 2012.

On that day, Mazhindu said Cook asked her if she could write her a medical report saying she had been examined on January 6, the date of the alleged murder.

“She told me she was being accused of killing someone and told me she wanted me to write my findings,” said Mazhindu.

“I explained to her I had not examined her on the 6th so I was not in a position to do so.”

According to the State, Cook faked a pregnancy and on January 6

invited Valencia Behrens to her house and told her she would give her a pram.

Cook allegedly cut Behrens open to steal her unborn child from her womb. Behrens bled to death, but the child survived.

Mazhindu said Cook had told her that while Behrens was at her home, she heard a garbage truck outside and went to deal with her bins. When she came back, she found Behrens in a pool of blood.

Mazhindu gave Cook several pregnancy tests, including an ultrasound and blood tests on January 10 to see if she was pregnant. The tests were negative.

Cook could not believe she was not pregnant, Mazhindu said.

“She was surprised and told me she had an ultrasound in October 2011 and she actually saw the foetus.”

Cook's uncle, Mark Sampson, testified next and told the court that when he arrived at Cook's home on January 6 his niece was “lying in a coma”.

He said there was not too much blood next to Behrens's body.

The case was adjourned until Tuesday after prosecutor Paul Schutte told the court the State was unable to call any more witnesses.

Sapa


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