18-month-old Jeremiah Ruiters was tortured for weeks before he died, court hears
His mother’s boyfriend, Ameerudien Peters, is on trial for his rape and murder while his mother, Abigail Ruiters, is on trial for child neglect.
According to the report Jeremiah, sustained spinal and head injuries and cuts caused by blunt force trauma over a period of time.
Pathologist, Dr Marna du Plessis, indicated that Jeremiah had healing wounds from two or more weeks before his death and more recent wounds that could have been sustained 24 to 72 hours prior to his death.
According to the report, Du Plessis said the cause of death was multiple injuries and the consequences thereof.
Jeremiah was murdered in Factreton in 2017. It is alleged that he was raped, beaten and stabbed by Peters.
Du Plessis, in post-mortem findings, cited multiple extensive injuries in different phases of healing. He had multiple fractures also in different phases of healing.
Du Plessis first told the court of the poor nutrition she had observed. “At six months, he was far below the expected weight group, he gained a bit at 15 months but still not where he was expected to be. He had poor growth,” she said.
She also noted that on post-mortem examination the child was not clean. “The child is notably dirty on the skin, hair and nails,” said Du Plessis.
Du Plessis said Jeremiah had a 7.5cm scar going down from the forehead to his nose. On the forehead were two scabs and the nose area had a cluster of wounds surrounding the right nostril.
Du Plessis said the scars couldn’t have been a result of natural illnesses like eczema, but were a result of injury. She said the toddler’s nasal bone cavity was exposed, inflicted by a blunt object.
Jeremiah’s hands had scars and were swollen and so were his legs. His genitalia also had scarring and wounds.
“The wounds are in keeping with forceful penetration with a blunt object,” she said.
Du Plessis also indicated that Jeremiah had sustained a fracture in his spine.
“The wounds are diffuse and in areas that injuries from daily activity and resuscitation would not be expected. Some fresh haemorrhages also occurred in areas that are deeply situated within the body and generally protected, namely the spinal cord, adrenal gland and bladder,” she submitted.
The case continues today.@Zoey_Dano