A 3-year-old girl died after her mother hit her on the head. Post-mortem showed that the girl was assaulted by parents all her short life.
Pathologist Professor Gert Saayman testified in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, stating that Nicole Smith had been undernourished and had more than 18 injuries across her body. Apart from the bruises, the child had cigarette burns across her forehead, knees and torso. Moreover, one leg had been broken previously and simply left to grow by itself.
Nicole’s mother Welmarie Smith mentioned that her daughter had always been tiny and not emaciated as the experts claimed. She explained the injuries as accidental, telling a story of an epileptic fit that made the girl fall out of her cot and hit her head on a cupboard.
Willem Smith, the child’s father, stated that he knew nothing of the injuries as he spent most time at work. Both parents claimed they never knew about Nicole’s leg being broken.
Judge Bert Bam has convicted the Smiths of assaulting their daughter and found Welmarie Smith guilty of murdering her. On Friday, the sentencing starts.