Court hears Jeremiah Ruiters's tongue 'was pale due to loss of blood'
Pathologist Dr Marna du Plessis said this in her testimony in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.
Du Plessis gave medical evidence in the case of Ameerudien Peters, 26, who is on trial for the murder of 18-month-old Jeremiah.
His mother Abigail Ruiters, 30, is facing charges of child abuse and neglect. The toddler was murdered in Factreton in 2017, and it's the State's case that he was raped, beaten and stabbed.
He died on June 12, 2017 as a result of blunt-force trauma to his spine, a cracked skull, broken ribs, and bite marks all over his body, including his face and genitals.
Asked by State prosecutor Marie Marshall to explain in layman's terms the paleness of the tongue, Du Plessis said: “The tongue was more white of colour and should have been more pink. This is due to loss of blood because in this child's case there is evidence of previous trauma that also resulted in blood loss. The tongue was previously torn in two and it has healed, and a newer laceration on the right at the top of the tongue.”
She also said his tonsils showed scar tissue, which indicated there had been a traumatic process that healed.
According to the pathologist, this was due to blunt-force trauma to the front of the face or even from an object inside the mouth.
“The nose was broken due to blunt-force trauma directly to the nose during a previous episode. During the time of the post-mortem this broken nose had not properly healed.
“I also found that the nerve on the right eye that comes from the back had a purple discolouration, which is consistent to bleeding.
“There was also bleeding on the left eye and this was due to direct blunt-force trauma. The back of the child's skull also had cracks which were caused by blunt-force trauma,” Du Plessis told the court.
The case was to continue before Judge Monde Samela today.@TheCapeArgus