Woman suffocated: court hears

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IOL pic sep 21 justice scales gavel Independent Newspapers THE rape, torture and murder of a Hammarsdale woman was barbaric and inhumane, and deserves life in prison.

Pretoria - An Eersterust woman whose body was found under her alleged killer's bed died of suffocation, a pathologist told the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday.

Suzan Mabotja testified that Novinia Groom, 18, had been gagged with a sock and had blunt force injuries on the inside and outside of her neck.

She also had abrasions on both elbows, and bruises indicative of sexual penetration.

The body was clad only in a white T-shirt and a black bra.

Mabotja found that the cause of Groom's death was suffocation.

Earlier this week, Groom's neighbour Jermaine Marbles, 33, pleaded not guilty to killing and raping her on August 24 last year.

He also pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery, rape and the attempted murder of another woman in July 2010.

Groom's mother Valerie and several other witnesses testified that her body was found half-naked under Marbles' bed a day after she was seen with him.

Her body was found only because her mother insisted that the police search the room because of a “gut feeling” that her daughter was there.

Valerie testified that Marbles and two other men drove past her house earlier that day, but raced off without stopping.

A second alleged rape victim testified behind closed doors.

Marbles, who was granted bail in that case, has claimed he had consensual sex with the woman.

The trial continues on Friday. - Sapa



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