Baby Jamie: Mother gets 20-year sentence for vile abuse of her infant child

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Few court proceedings can wrench hearts like the Baby Jamie case. Her mother – who cannot be named for legal reasons – has been found guilty of a sickening campaign of abuse which lead to the infant’s death

On Thursday, the Durban High Court ignored the defence’s claims about their client’s mental capacities and handed down a 20-year jail sentence. TimesLive report her lawyers stated she had a low IQ score of just 60, and because she had the same intelligence as a 16-year-old, she should be tried as one.

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It draws to a close one of the most harrowing trials in recent South African history. While prosecuting the mother, the state revealed some of the details behind the torture and physical violence the three-year-old had to suffer. We must warn you, there are some very sensitive details to come:

Baby Jamie: Details of the injuries

Court papers surfaced in Chatsworth Magistrates during the early stages of the trial in 2015, detailing the extent of the sadistic violence. The first startling allegation claims that chilli powder was rubbed on the toddler’s genitals. This is an area where cigarettes were also stubbed out.

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Jamie was regularly starved by her mother, who also used to tie the child to the bed as a punishment. She also slapped Jamie so hard in the mouth, it made her bleed. Hands, belts, rulers, shoes and even a wooden spoon were used to administer the beatings.

Baby Jamie case: Mother sentenced

Judge Mohini Moodley was scathing in delivering his verdict, and labelled the crime as a “textbook case of abuse”. He also lamented the role society has played in this grave cycle of abuse, tying a violent culture in South Africa to the mother’s actions.

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However, he was in no mood to accept excuses and handed out a lengthy sentence to the defendant. The child’s grandmother was also complicit in the abuse, but she died in April while being held in custody.

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