TINY: Jeremiah Ruiters

Cape Town - A microscopic examination of Jeremiah Ruiter's brain indicated that it was too small for 18 months, weighing 9.6g.

On Thursday, the Western Cape High Court heard a continuation of forensic pathologist Dr Marna du Plessis’s testimony in the trial of Ameerudien Peters and Abigail Ruiters.

Peters is the boyfriend of Ruiters, Jeremiah’s mother.

Jeremiah was murdered in Factreton in 2017. It is the State’s case that he was raped, beaten and stabbed by Peters. The abuse occurred over a period of time. Ruiters is on trial for child neglect. Du Plessis said there were multiple areas of bleeding sighted in Jeremiah’s brain.

“The brain is covered by three membranes. There was bleeding below the second membrane situated on top of the brain. There are focal areas of bleeding and multiple distinct areas of bleeding,” she said.

Du Plessis said the left side of the brain was bleeding. She said there was blood in the canals, around the brain, owed to blunt-force trauma. She said the canals are supposed to drain fluid.

She said because of trauma, Jeremiah’s brain was much softer than it should have been.

After a close look at the spine, Du Plessis said she observed a dark maroonish discolouration, consistent with blood. Normally one would observe a creamish-white colour.

“The cause of this discolouration could be bleeding consistent with blunt-force trauma.

“There was bleeding in the upper and lower spine,” she said.

Du Plessis said 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 before his death.

According to her report, she said the cause of death was multiple injuries and consequences thereof.

The report said Jeremiah was malnourished.

“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 has poor growth,” said Du Plessis.

Ruiters has been emotional throughout submission of the forensic evidence. At one point, the court had to adjourn for 10 minutes to give her time to gather herself.

The trial continues on Monday.

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Cape Argus