Lache Stols, 3, with her birth mother Lara Boer. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/ANA Pictures

Cape Town - A mother-of-three accused of beating her three-year-old stepdaughter, resulting in her death, told the Western Cape High Court that at no point did she feel the need to stop.

Anthea Kleynhans wanted to punish Lache Stols, three, she told the court. 

Kleynhans beat Lache with a belt. The beating led to the child's death. Kleynhans was charged with murder, child abuse and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

In her plea explanation Kleynhans said she didn't intend to kill Lache and pleaded not guilty to the charges. She pleaded guilty to common assault.

The incident occurred on January 23, 2012. Kleynhans allegedly assaulted the toddler repeatedly causing blunt force trauma by beating with her hand and assaulting her with implements. 

Lache died on arrival at the hospital due to multiple injuries.

On Wednesday Kleynhans told the court after the beating the toddler was still awake and "looked okay".

"She walked with me to the room to go and dress her. 

"I was still drunk when I was beating the child. I can’t say how long the beating lasted. I used a belt only. I was angry at that stage, I thought I wanted to punish her. I didn’t feel the need to stop," she said.

At the time of the beating one of her children was playing outside.

She said injuries to Lache's ribs could have happened when she picked her up to dress her. 

"That is the only squeeze action I can remember."

Lache had been living with Kleynhans and her father, Angelo Stols, in Happy Valley in Blackheath for about three months. Prior to moving in with her dad, Lache had lived with her mom in Oudtshoorn. While her dad was at work, Lache was left in Kleynhans' care.

On the day of the incident Kleynhans said she had drunk three quarts of Black Label beer, 500ml of vodka and juice and another 500ml of whiskey and water.

"I was intoxicated to such a point that I could not foresee to what I was doing by hitting her with a belt may cause her death," she said in her plea explanation.

Kleynhans said she had to look after Lache against her will. During that three month period she was experiencing "a very bad time" in her life.

"I drank too much during this period. 

"It was a vague and hazy time of my life. I was not always by my full conscience when I hit the deceased. I did not have the intention nor did I foresee that the deceased will experience grievous bodily harm because of my actions," she said.

The case will resume on October 9.

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Cape Argus